At least 75 residents and businesses will be affected by the project. Residents agree that the project does have Utica's best interest in mind, but it doesn't make it hurt any less that they're being forced to relocate.
"I just feel like I'm treading water without a life preserver," says David Davis, David P Davis Auto Sales owner.
Davis owns an automotive shop on Court Street and he's says area businesses are frustrated with the project.
"I don't want to relocate after 28 years. How do you go home and tell your family that you have to relocate your business?" says Davis.
"The state will be taking half to more than that of parking and as you know in downtown Utica, parking is a premium," says Barbara Brodock, Brodock Press general manager.
But the Department of Transportation says the project is much needed, and the positives outweigh the negatives.
"The project itself will have some great benefits not only to the flow of traffic, safety of pedestrians," says Jim Piccola, DOT spokesperson.
"It's definitely going to be positive from traffic, redirecton, from an expediency on Route 12, getting on and getting off, and to make sure that the eye sores are removed and that the area is cleaned up," says Brodock.
But Davis says it's not so easy to relocate. He tried to buy a lot on Oriskany Boulevard, but the city's zoning board of appeals denied him. They offered him a site in East Utica, but he says its not comparable to his current site.
"I'm on the busiest corner in the city of Utica and I don't need to be put on a side street. And when I did find my own piece of property, I was refused the variance for it," says Davis.
Piccola says as of last week, 24 people had accepted the department's offer. He says they're working closely with property owners to help make the move as easy as possible.
"We show a lot of compassion and we tend to their individual needs and we'll continue to do that until they find a place to be relocated to," says Piccola.
"I have to put my ducks in place and try to go on and hope to find a place before December 31st," says Davis.
The Department of Transportation says it's in the final design phase of the project. They anticipate demolition to begin in January, and construction to begin in late April.