Broadway businesses share ideas about corridor project

Thursday, May 17, 2012
An old trolley rail awaits removal from the intersection of Broadway and Lorimier Street by a Fronabarger Concreters crew Friday, May 4, 2012. The crew is working west on the Broadway corridor project. (Fred Lynch)

Old Town Cape executive director Marla Mills gave business owners fair warning Wednesday -- the $4.5 million Broadway corridor project is not always going to be easy or convenient.

"No pain, no gain," she said. "It's going to hurt a little bit."

Still, some shared ideas at a special meeting Wednesday evening in the hopes of relieving some of that pain when the project halts traffic in front of their businesses. Cape Girardeau officials hosted a "Broadway neighborhood meeting," with about 25 business owners and other interested parties attending the event at the Douglas C. Green Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

City engineer Casey Brunke answered questions for much of the 45-minute meeting. She started off by saying that the city won't waive its sign ordinances for those who want to use them to let customers know they're still open and how to get there. Brunke also said that the contractor, Fronabarger Concreters, would be responsible if any damage happens to their property. No disruption of city services, such as sewer and water, were scheduled, she said, but brief disruptions are possible.

The city is also still working on forming partnerships with property owners that have parking along or near Broadway, Brunke said, although she noted Wednesday that signed agreements are yet to be in place. She said she remains "confident" that agreements will be reached for extra parking to offset the loss of the north-side parking. Those spaces are being removed to make way for a 15-foot wide sidewalk that is intended to create a pedestrian promenade.

Another aspect of the meeting was for Sandra Cabot, the director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center. Free consultations are available for coming up with ideas on how to lessen the blow of the project, which is closing intersections from Water to Pacific streets for no more than three weeks at a time.

Some business owners already have been working to combat the construction's inconvenience. Broadway Prescription Shop is attaching parking instructions, maps and alternate routes to every prescription. Horizon Screen Printing is sending out email blasts and using social media such as Facebook to keep its customers informed.

Earlier in the day, David McMullin, the project manager for Fronabarger, said the project is going well. The intersection of Broadway and Lorimier Street is expected to open by the middle of next week, he said, ahead of the Friday deadline. Stormwater work has started at the Broadway intersection with Fountain Street, and milling has been completed to Middle Street.

The intersection at Fountain Street is expected to close next week.

The crews did break a sewer line near River Radio, said general manager Mitch Carroll, sending a small amount of backup water into the building. But Carroll stressed that it was not sewage.

Carroll said he was impressed at how quickly city officials responded and had the problem rectified in about a half-hour.

"A project of this size, you expect something to happen," Carroll said.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

920 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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