Broadway businesses invited to meeting to talk about Cape corridor project

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A crew with Fronabarger Concreters digs up concrete at the intersection of Broadway and Lorimier Street Friday, May 4, 2012. The crew is working west on the Broadway corridor project. The intersection was closed starting Friday, and will be closed for about three weeks. (Fred Lynch)

An event scheduled for May 16 is being billed as a "Broadway neighborhood meeting," but officials say it's really another attempt to keep business owners informed as road crews continue to chew up the chunks of pavement in front of their buildings.

Business owners all along the $4.5 million Broadway corridor project in Cape Girardeau from Water to Pacific streets were invited to attend the meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. next week at the Douglas C. Green Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The meeting will offer detailed information on the progress of construction, which is currently taking place from Spanish to Fountain streets but eventually will move westward all the way to Pacific Street.

"We're going to give them an update on the project, but hopefully some ideas will be spawned from that," city engineer Casey Brunke said. "Maybe someone has some parking available to share or something else that will help their neighbor out. If they work together, they can help each other get through it OK."

Representatives from several organizations will be on hand, including Old Town Cape, the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business and Technology Development Center. Consultants from the center will offer advice to business owners, who will also be asked to share their own ideas on how to best address the construction phase that is expected to last until Nov. 5.

The project is closing sections of Broadway in up to two-block increments, though city leaders wrote a clause into the contract with Fronabarger Concreters that no closure can last longer than three weeks. If it does, the Oak Ridge-based company will incur a $10,000-per-day penalty. The high-profile project is being touted as a decorative new streetscape that, when completed, will include a "pedestrian promenade" on Broadway's north side in the form of a 15-foot-wide extended sidewalk.

So far the chamber has developed a website at www.buildabetterbroadway.com to keep businesses informed of when the project will reach them. The contractor has gone door to door to talk to business owners as well. The meeting is just another way to keep the conversation going, said Marla Mills, Old Town Cape's executive director. Mills also noted another similar meeting will likely be held later as the project progresses.

"Obviously it's a painful process, because it just is," Mills said. "I haven't heard a lot of negative about issues or problems from the businesses that haven't been addressed. It is a construction project. It's hard to make it 100 percent pleasant. But I haven't heard a lot of complaints."

The Spanish Street and Broadway intersection opened to traffic last week, although the work continues -- and has closed the street -- from just west of that intersection through the juncture at Broadway and Lorimier Street and on to Fountain Street.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

920 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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