When Can I Drive On Eugene Street in Downtown Greensboro?

Downtown Construction Creating Business Snafu

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Blue skies, green grass, orange cones.  That's the sight folks in downtown Greensboro have had to get used to.

"What a mess. We hear that about 50 times a day," explains Jessica Pflaume, a co-manager at Orrell Design, a salon on Eugene St.

The water and drain pipe construction right outside the shop is not as stylish as they'd like it to be.

"I actually spent 2 days calling clients, just to let them know how to get here," Pflaume says.

There's still a way to get to the shop's parking lot down Eugene St.

"It is a little bit confusing with the barricades but the attendant that's been out there, she's been really really helpful."

But shops further down the street are more daunted by the detours.

"We should have sold 20 in the month of April and we sold zero," explains John Hill, talking about his Triumph motorcycles at Select Cycle.

April to June is their prime selling time - but construction is driving customers away.  Acropolis, the Greek restaurant next door, is also seeing a cut in business.

"We're at that season where we have to sell our ice before it melts otherwise it's no value," Hill says.

Due to all the growth downtown, the bottom line is that this needs to happen.

"To reduce flooding in downtown areas we are upsizing from a 36 inch pipe to a 54," says Melinda King, a construction engineer with the city.  She adds it's been planned for many years.

Further up the road, Eugene St. and Fisher St., there's more construction.  It's for the Greenway, ultimately designed to draw more foot traffic and business downtown.

"Growing is good," says Zack Matheny, President and CEO of Downtown Greensboro, Inc.  "Because if you're not growing, you're not growing which means folks aren't going to come see you."

The struggle now is getting people to the businesses that are already there.

They need love during this growth period of growing pains," Matheny says.

Hill wishes there was a way to be compensated for the loss of business.

"People are very understanding but it prevents you from doing the process. You dont have the opportunities."

The pipe construction is expected to be completed the first week of July.  King says they're on track to completing that.

The Greenway construction is expected to continue through August; Eugene St. should be open both ways at the end of May.  Other roads will still have some construction going on.

The city keeps track of all road closures and creates detours.  Click here for more information.

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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