By Tom Lehman 3:56pm, January 4, 2013 - Updated 3:59pm, January 4, 2013
WDEL's Tom Lehman reports:The new year brings a new name for a major Newark thoroughfare.
As of January 1st, a segment of Elkton Road has been renamed South Main Street in an effort by the city government to draw more commerce into Newark's expanded downtown area.
Newark Mayor Vance A. Funk III says having a Main Street address is important to businesses looking to open up shop within the city.
"We knew people wanted to be on Main Street, we knew we wanted to develop Elkton Road," he says.
A lack of available space on East and West Main Street, which discouraged some businesses from moving into the downtown area, one reason why Funk sought to implement the changes. The renaming and addition of the South Main Street area to Newark's downtown area was approved by City Council last year.
The renaming occurs while DelDOT is finishing up two years of improvements and expansion to the thoroughfare says city manager Carol Houck.
"In the spring there will be more of a splash of the islands being finished with color and a true gateway to the community," she says.
DelDOT deputy secretary Nicole Majeski described some of the changes expected as the improvements are completed this winter.
"The widening of the road, new pavement, striping and turn lanes that will make traffic efficient and safe," she says.
She says work has been done to make South Main Street more pedestrian and bicyclist friendly while improvements to the road's appearance continue.
New street signs were posted last month while the city alerted motorists about the upcoming changes.
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