Merchants on a portion of Government Way in Coeur d’Alene will throw a block party on Saturday to celebrate the end of road construction.
The block party runs from noon to 5 p.m. on the stretch of Government Way between the Neider Avenue and the old Government Way bridge.
Two miles of Government Way were torn up in sections while the city completed a $6 million rebuild of the road, turning it from two lanes into five lanes. The work began last summer. Merchants said the party is to welcome customers and drivers back to the street. Nineteen businesses will participate, and shoppers who visit five businesses on the street can enter a raffle.
“The construction really hurt all the businesses on the street,” said Joe Dorsey, a partner in AWI Wetsuits. “The construction seemed more like a war zone than a commercial street. Sometimes our customers had to pass through multiple checkpoints.”
Some minor work remains, such as new striping and landscaping along Government Way, said Dick Suchocki, project manager for the city’s engineering department. “But we’ve got it all paved.”
The Government Way bridge crossing Interstate 90 remains under construction. The old bridge was torn down in June, and a new bridge over the freeway will open in about 18 months.
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