Snag Puts Tower Avenue Project a Few Days Behind
Posted at: 10/16/2013 4:34 PM
| Updated at: 10/16/2013 6:05 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
After six months of detours, Superior's north Tower Avenue is expected to open next week. It's a $14 million reconstruction project and Tower Avenue businesses are ready to use their front doors again.
Project manager with Wisconsin Department of Transportation Brendan Dirkes said they planned to reopen the mile-long stretch of Tower this Friday, but now that date is pushed back to Wednesday. Dirkes said that could still change.
"The traffic signals on Tower Avenue are going to be inter-connected with the rail crossing and we need to work together with the railroad to get them tied together, unfortunately that's not going to happen until next week now," said Dirkes.
Dirkes said the project was a complicated job because everything is new, from all the utilities to the concrete.
Looking down Tower Avenue this week it looks just about finished, but they still have minor things to add like the street signs.
Tower Avenue businesses are excited to see their street open again.
"We're like little kids, just waiting!" said Darcie Burbul with Engwalls Florists. "People have already started walking up and down the sidewalks and enjoying them."
During construction businesses couldn't use their front doors, so Engwalls dolled up their back door with a mural. But Burbul said like many businesses, they've taken a hit.
"We absolutely were hurt a little bit and towards the end, the last couple months, people were just waiting," said Burbul.
But Brian Noel owns a new business on Tower and he calls the construction a blessing. Shorty's Pizza and Smoked Meat opened in August.
"Every 100 years they do something like this, so my timing couldn't get better or worse, depending on how you look at it," said Noel.
He said they were so busy starting out, they could barely handle all the business. Now that their business has leveled out, he said they're ready for Tower to reopen.
"I think the street opening will help everybody, including us, and we're ready for it," said Noel.