Thousands spent on sprucing up Charlotte for DNC visitors

Thousands spent on sprucing up Charlotte for DNC visitors

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 5:48 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is spending $300,000 to clean up and beautify Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention.

Drive around and you’ll find roadways looking like fairways.

At Interstate-277 and South Boulevard, you’ll find finely cut grass and thousands of red, white and blue flowers.

"Planted probably 13,000 petunias and close to 500 of these knockout roses,” said Allen Helms with Taylor’s Landscape Service.

Helms and his crew are planting them on opposite corners -- eye candy for DNC visitors coming uptown.

"It's nice to be able to beautify the city and make it pretty for everyone coming in from out of town,” Helms said.

Along Billy Graham Parkway, trees have been trimmed as far as the eye can see -- crews have been at it for weeks. The grassy medians and shoulders actually look "puttable."

The hope is that recently planted wildflowers bloom before the DNC starts.

If you drive down local interstates you'll see trees and shrubs along overpasses cleared out. The NCDOT said it's for better site distance and ease of seeing exit signs.

Some plant beds have been cleared and replaced with mulch.

"Definitely taken a lot down,” said neighbor Jennifer Dufresne. "I do think it makes the city look a lot nicer."

In uptown, watch where you sit because crews are painting every public bench they can find.

Neighbors hope the first impressions of people coming here for the DNC are lasting impressions.

"You want to represent a brand, kind of like when you work for a company. You want that brand to be represented well and for it to be Charlotte, I would want someone to come to my home city as a nice place to come back and visit,” said neighbor James Herring.

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