YAKIMA, Wash. — Plans to revitalize North First Street, one of the major entry ways into Yakima, got a boost recently from a $2.7 million federal grant.

City officials announced the grant Friday and said it is part of the federal Surface Transportation Program. The money will be used to complete the first phase of the North 1st Street Corridor Revitalization Project.

The project includes street resurfacing, drainage improvements, new sidewalks, pedestrian friendly lighting, benches, banner poles and a variety of landscaping upgrades between U.S. Highway 12 and N Street, city officials said in a news release.

Work on Phase 1 of the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2014.

“The STP grant represents a down payment on what will be a long-term investment in making the North First Street corridor an attractive and inviting gateway into Yakima,” said City Special Projects Manager Joan Davenport.

Davenport said the city will look for other funding sources to keep the momentum going on the revitalization project.

Improving North First Street was identified by the City Council as one of its priorities in 2011.

Results of the 2012 Yakima Citizen Survey also showed that community members want the city to do more to improve the overall appearance of Yakima.