Local News

Streetscape Project Leaves Glenwood Merchants Frustrated

Posted May 13, 2003

— People driving down local roads can see all kinds of wires and cables overhead. But now, more and more places are burying the wires and cables.

One strip along Glenwood South in Raleigh is supposed to be getting underground lines. But the work is causing real headaches for people.

In a project known as the Streetscape project, workers are redoing the sidewalks in front of businesses and restaurants. They also are in the process of taking overhead utility wires down.

In the end, it's supposed to make a much better streetscape for the area. But anytime there is growth, there are growing pains, and merchants are complaining about the amount of time the project is taking and its impact on their businesses.

"You have all these big machines that are constantly blocking the parking," said merchant Tracy Arencibia, "which prevents a lot of business going from Glenwood. A lot of people don't know if they can park here. They don't even know if we're open. Our business has gone down probably half of what it's been."

Gil Johnson, the project coordinator, said the streetscape portion of the work should be finished by July.

"That'll take care of the really disruptive work," Johnson said. "The other stuff, the burying of the lines and the conversion of these services, is going to run into the Fall."

The city admitted the project has taken a little longer than expected. In an effort to try and help the merchants, the city has put up signs indicating that the businesses are open.

All of the businesses within the 100-300 block, between Hillsborough and Peace, are open for business. They can't wait for the project to be finished.

"We're waiting, and it's dirty and smelly, and there's sand everywhere," merchant Jennifer Orff said. "It's not good."

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