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The City of Sanford won the inaugural N.C. Department of Transportation Mobi Award in the rural category at a ceremony today on N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus. The honor was for the city’s $6.5 million downtown streetscape project.
The award was presented by Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon and accepted by Mayor Chet Mann and Councilman Sam Gaskins. Also present were Division 8 Engineer Brandon Jones and DOT Appointee Pat Molamphy.
The Mobi Awards honor towns, cities and counties for multimodal projects that have had a transformational impact on and change the landscape of communities. Winners were chosen in five categories including rural, suburban, urban, tourism and innovation.
“We were deeply honored to receive first place in the crowded field of rural submissions for our Downtown Streetscape and Revitalization project. We have garnered a lot of recognition and attention around the state for these improvements,” said Mayor Mann. “These projects really are economic development and quality of life enhancements. They have -- and will continue to -- set Sanford apart.”
The Sanford streetscape project was completed in late 2016 and had a goal of slowing traffic and inviting pedestrians. It has increased the community’s overall accessibility and aesthetics by improving bicycle, pedestrian and roadway features. This project has benefited its citizens and visitors through the revamping of sidewalks, replacing trees, burying power lines, creating outdoor gathering places and improving lighting.
By improving the area’s sense of place for residents, the project has spurred local economic growth and community enhancement while also increasing visits from tourists, providing a venue for several new events and increasing the opportunity for the arts.
“It has really made downtown sparkle to be honest, and, of course, you know when an investor looks at our city making a public investment into something as important in their community as downtown, it encourages a lot of private investment as well,” said Jennifer St. Clair, the executive director of Sanford Downtown, Inc.
In addition to the NCDOT Mobi Award, Sanford also recently received the N.C. Department of Commerce’s award for Best Outdoor Space Improvement.
Photo Caption: From left, NCDOT Board Chairman and Division 7 Representative Mike Fox, NCDOT Vice Chairwoman Nina Szlosberg-Landis, Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon, NCDOT Division 8 Engineer Brandon Jones, NCDOT Division 8 Board Representative Pat Molamphy.
From NCDOT: The City of Sanford's $6.5 million investment into the community has increased Sanford’s overall accessibility and aesthetics by improving bicycle, pedestrian and roadway features in downtown. Sanford’s Streetscape Project has spurred economic growth and development, stimulated business investments and provided a venue for several new events.