Senators Susan Collins and Angus King gathered at the brand-new Lockwood Hotel in Waterville for a ribbon-cutting on Friday to celebrate the conclusion of an $11.2 million project to revitalize downtown Waterville.

The project is a joint venture between Colby College, the city of Waterville and the Maine Department of Transportation. It’s part of an ongoing effort to transform and modernize the city.

Waterville used to be a buzzing manufacturing center, but as old industries fell by the wayside, buildings sat empty. This investment re-envisions the city; with a new hotel, a renovated historic office building, multi-use buildings to house student apartments and retail, and newly paved two-way streets.

“There are businesses that you can enter and having a street that you can just get out of your car, and you can walk, and you can find one surprise after another. Everybody loves that about a great city, and that’s what’s true here of Waterville as well,” said Colby College president David A. Greene.

Local leaders say ongoing developments have brought flourishing new businesses to the city.

“Being able to have a two-way street really slows down the traffic, allows people to stop, to enter the businesses, to find the things that they need here, and for businesses to see this as an attractive place to be as well,” Greene said.

While this project is complete, more changes are still afoot, with a new art center opening in the near future.

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