SARASOTA - "Getting it done has been the issue for so very long,” said City Commissioner Willie Shaw.

More than a dozen residents attend an open house at Booker High School to discuss with Sarasota County officials what changes they’ll expect to see on Myrtle St. as part of the Myrtle Street Improvement Project.

"The Myrtle Street Improvement Project has been around for many years, we’ve been under design, property acquisition, and now we’re ready to move into construction,” said Public Works Director for Sarasota County Spencer Anderson.

Anderson says the project will bring much needed improvements to Myrtle St. between Tamiami Trail and U.S. 301. A project that has taken nearly two decades to complete.

"We’ll be adding sidewalks on the south side of the road, bicycle lanes to both sides of the road," said Anderson. "And also resurfacing the road and street lighting on the south side. “

City Commissioner Shaw he says he’s lived in Sarasota for more than 70 years and has seen Myrtle St. slowly deteriorate and not taken care of by the city.

"The community has cried and finally we’re getting both railroad and county together to bring about the changes that we so desperately need here,” said Shaw.

The portion of Myrtle St. between Central Ave. and N Tamiami Trail has already seen the improvements the project planned. Lights have been added and the roadways have been made safer for bicyclist and pedestrians to use.

"Myrtle was supposed to be completed at the same time that Booker High School was completed,” said Barbara Langston.

Langston, a longtime resident, says she’s hopeful the city will complete the project this time around but she says only time will tell.

"I’m gonna believe it when I see it!" said Langston. "We are in great hopes that the county finally is going to follow through and do what it should’ve done over 20 years ago.”

Construction will be done in two parts with the first being from Orange to Central Ave. and will begin in the fall of 2019 and end around September of 2020.