WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Dupont Circle will soon get a major makeover. City leaders want to transform a five-block stretch of Connecticut Avenue into a pedestrian-friendly streetscape.

Neighbors and business owners got a first look at the designs on Monday night at the Dupont Circle Hotel.

While some say it’s a long time coming, others are worried about the impact construction will have on businesses and traffic.

Right now Connecticut Avenue in Dupont Circle is split up by an underpass. For the last decade, local leaders have been petitioning the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to turn it into a public plaza.

“And they found about $30 million to build over this deck and then streetscape Connecticut Avenue so it’s going to renew all of Dupont Circle and be a very exciting plaza for the city,” said Bill McLeod, executive director of the Dupont Circle Business Improvement District.

Monday night, DDOT unveiled final plans for the overdeck and streetscape project which will stretch five blocks on Connecticut Avenue from Dupont Circle up to the Washington Hilton hotel.

“The road beds may be a bit narrower and there’ll be a bike lane next to it and so skinny streets make for slower traffic,” McLeod said. Slower traffic is better for the pedestrian environment and pedestrian environments are great for restaurants and retail.”

The standout concern at the public meeting was safety, with people concerned about cars detouring down residential roads during the 27-month-long construction project.

“What are you gonna do about the impact this project’s going to have on 19th street?” asked one neighbor who said he’s been asking about the issue for three years.

“This is a safety issue. There are children and elderly people living on 19th Street,” another neighbor added.

DDOT representatives promised to look into their concerns, saying construction is still nine or ten months away.

There will be various detours throughout the project, which will be completed one block at a time. The work is expected to start at the north end of the corridor and progress down the western side, then up the eastern side.

Plaza construction will be done concurrently with the streetscape work.

Some restaurant and retail owners are also concerned about getting foot traffic in the door during work.

“It can be very disruptive to business for about six weeks while they’re working in front of your door,” McLeod said.

Mcleod said he’s working to ease some of those concerns with the DC City Council.

“We’re working with the City Council to fund a grant program and a tax abatement program for commercial property owners,” Mcleod said.

DDOT said contractors are required to allow access to all buildings.

Streetscape work will include new sidewalks, roadbeds and streetlights, along with 54 new trees planted.

Mcleod said all the improvements will make way for an expanded farmer’s market, art market and more seating.

When it’s all done cars will still be able to drive through, but some parking will disappear to allow for bike lanes.

DDOT expects to award a contract this summer. If all goes as planned, construction will start in the fall and be completed by the spring of 2026.