City councilors earlier this month agreed to pay Indianapolis engineering firm Butler Fairman & Seufert $196,000 to make recommendations on improvements. The study should be finished in less than a year.
The latest action follows a previous analysis by Ball State University's Department of Urban Planning that confirmed what city leaders already knew: Major corridors into downtown do little to attract visitors.
The city paid $15,000 for the Ball State study, completed in September 2007, that found Lebanon's thoroughfare zoning ordinance should be more restrictive.
Indianapolis Avenue, the main artery into the city for visitors traveling north on Interstate 65, contains outdoor storage units and overhead utilities that are an eyesore, as well as nondescript street lighting and overly dominant signage.
"This route, probably the primary entry into Lebanon, is not a 'celebration of entry' for the community," the report said. "Indeed, it does much to deter the visitor."
The decision to proceed with the corridor project follows a move by Mayor John Lasley in July to name several local citizens to a Gateway Committee to get the public more involved in the process.