Local News

Business owners brace for Glenwood Avenue road work

Posted June 27, 2010 1:59 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2010 11:01 p.m. EDT

— Business owners are bracing for a road works project that will tear up and close lanes along one of Raleigh's busiest streets over the next two months.

When crews started resurfacing Glenwood Avenue this past winter, the work unexpectedly uncovered a crumbling asphalt base that was at least 70 years old.

"We did know it was old concrete. We didn't know exactly how bad a shape it was in," said state Department of Transportation engineer Jeff Allen.

Crews will have to remove that concrete and lay down new asphalt for Glenwood Avenue between Wade Avenue and Five Points, its intersection with Fairview Road, Whitaker Mill Road and Glenn Avenue.

Allen said that extra work will likely increase the cost of the project, originally budgeted at $1.7 million, by at least several hundred thousand dollars and push its completion back from June to August.

In the meantime, lanes of Glenwood Avenue will be blocked, and surrounding roads will be closed. The closures were scheduled to begin Monday.

"It will reduce business a great deal and hurt us very badly," said John Pridgen, owner of Villa Consegna, a consignment shop that has been open at Fairview Road and Glenwood Avenue for 18 years.

Rook Kim, owner of JIN's Dry Cleaners & Tailors, said the street closures will create some logistical difficulties.

"We have to get the clothes cleaned, and they have to get sent back to our store to be distributed to customers, but with this road block, I don't know how we're going to get the clothes delivered from the main plant to our pickup station," Kim said.

Allen said that at least one of lane of Glenwood Avenue will stay open in both directions, although the work could be done more quickly if the road were shut down completely.

"It is going to take us a bit longer, but we're going to try to accommodate the business owners and residents and maintain traffic," he said.

Business owners agreed that the road work is sorely needed and said they understand why traffic will be disrupted.

"I don't know of any other alternatives," Pridgen said. "Summer is a slower time than winter, so I'd rather have it get done now."

"It's going to be for the better anyway, so everyone just has to be a little patient," Kim said. "It won't be that bad."