ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A 16-month project to make Fifth Street in St. Charles more pedestrian friendly may cause headaches for nearby businesses.
Underground utility lines have been marked and crews have been taking down power poles. When the project is finished, power lines will go underground and sidewalks will be widened. The entire project, which was proposed in 2011, is expected to cost $10.5 million.
The owner of a catering business on Fifth Street said she is looking forward to the project’s end result, but said her business may suffer while construction is taking place.
“I’m expecting it to be a mess for the next few months, but I’m hoping the end result will be that traffic will be safer,” said Terri Roberts, owner of Adeline’s Kitchen.
Other small business owners believe the project will have a negative impact on their bottom line. St. Charles said it is urging people to not avoid the area. During the project, there will be at least one lane of traffic going in each direction.
“Fifth Street is open for business, you can get through there to get to businesses you want to go to. The great thing about Fifth Street is that there’s Sixth Street one side and Fourth Street on the other. You can use those to access businesses on Fifth Street,” said Kevin Corwin, an engineer with St. Charles City.
The city is also holding monthly meetings with business leaders, and keeping contractors up to date on when any shop on Fifth Street is having a special event so construction schedules can be changed or traffic has to be re-routed.
The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.