WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Downtown Watertown has been a little more congested in recent weeks.

This is due to the ongoing construction of four Downtown Revitalization Initiative streetscape projects, all within walking distance of Watertown’s Public Square.

DRI projects are located on Franklin Street, Coffeen Street, most of Court Street and at the Lachneaur Plaza at the foot of Arsenal Street.

Because of where these projects are located, traffic has been increasing.

But according to City Planning and Community Development Director Michael Lumbis, the changes will be night in day with improvements including new sidewalks, curbs, trees and benches.

“Anything to make the street and environment in the street where pedestrians will walk, more pleasant to walk,” Lumbis said. “That’s really the goal, to make it more attractive to pedestrians and to make it more attractive for business development.”

But this is only one aspect of Watertown’s DRI. Previous work has improved existing facades, investing in historical buildings and adding apartments. A project to rehabilitate the Court Street Bridge has also been confirmed and will hopefully begin this fall.

“All of that works together in the synergy to just bring a lot of life and vibrancy to downtown,” Lumbis added. “Just to make downtown a better place.”

Watertown’s streetscape projects are speeding along but will take a pause ahead of winter weather this fall. Crews will resume next spring with an expected completition time of late spring 2023.