Business owners along Grand Boulevard have dodged a financial pothole now that the city has agreed to speed up the paving schedule for the busy arterial.
Summer construction on Grand will last 30 days instead of the 10 weeks the city initially planned.
City engineers said they are responding to the concerns of merchants, who feared the longer schedule would hurt business.
Traffic will be detoured during construction.
At a meeting earlier this month, business owners on Grand asked the city to hire a contractor willing to work double-shifts or extra hours to get the job done quickly.
Assistant City Manager Dave Mandyke said the contract requires the job be finished in 30 days. Work is expected to begin in mid-August.
Under a regular work schedule, the project was estimated to cost $800,000. The change could raise the price of bids from paving contractors, Mandyke said, but he did not speculate on how much more it would be.
John Wilson, owner of Mail Boxes Etc., said the shorter work schedule “is fantastic as far as I’m concerned.”
“We were pleased they were willing to talk to us. In the past, that hasn’t always been the case,” Wilson said.
The city attempted to repave Grand four years ago but backed away from the project after business owners objected to closure of the arterial.
The current plan will bring new asphalt pavement from Eighth and McClellan to 29th and Grand.
In the middle of the project, from 16th to 21st avenues, the contractor will excavate the gravel base and replace it with new rock. A special fabric that is impermeable to water will be laid over the gravel base to prevent ground water from damaging the road bed.
Old pavement on the other sections will be ground away, and a new asphalt layer will be rolled on top.
Because of the reconstruction, the city is planning to close Grand to all traffic from 14th to 29th avenues. Two lanes of traffic will be allowed from Eighth and McClellan to 14th and Grand.
The detour route will be along 14th Avenue and Bernard Street.