The City of Mobile is beginning the next step toward transforming Water Street.

Next week, fiber optic work for the traffic signals on Water Street will begin in preparation for Water Street’s vehicular lane reduction. These are necessary upgrades to create an efficient traffic flow when the outside lane is removed.

Work includes the installation of the conduit and fiber optic line, as well as pulling the fiber line to the controller boxes at all signalized intersections.

The city will also be pulling the fiber into the telecommunication closet adjacent to the Mobile History Museum, so traffic engineers can have communication to the intersections from the office.

Last month, the first phase of construction began, including new sidewalks and new Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at pedestrian crossings.

The purpose of the project is to connect citizens and visitors to the Mobile Riverfront and its amenities, including: Cooper Riverside Park, the Mobile Convention Center, GulfQuest Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mobile, Alabama Cruise Terminal.

“Water Street is often people’s first impression of the City Mobile,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “Ironically, Water Street currently prevents you from accessing the water. Our goal is to create a safer, more walkable and bikeable corridor that invites you to these attractions. ”

Future plans include new striping to form crosswalks as well as bicycle and pedestrian lanes and reducing the amount of vehicular traffic lanes from six to four.