The 600 block was temporarily closed Thursday for milling of the old pavement. But the block will be closed for several days starting late next week as crews remake the street with new curbs, gutters and pavement.
"We are actually ahead of schedule on the project," Cape Girardeau city engineer Casey Brunke said.
Brunke said Fronabarger Concreters has finished work on each block of Broadway thus far in less than 21 days. Efforts are being made to ensure no block is closed for longer than three weeks.
"Business owners have been very cooperative. We've had lots of calls, but we encourage questions," Brunke said.
Businesses in the 600 block of Broadway are 4U Beauty & Fashion, State Beauty Supply, SEMO Video and Last Call.
Placement of new 2-inch blacktop overlay on Broadway, with construction moving east to west from Water Street to Pacific Street, started in April. The city has contracted with Fronabarger Concreters for street and sidewalk replacement as well as utility relocation, set to be complete by early November.
The beautification and streetscape enhancements will be installed at a later date, with full project completion in early April 2013 at an estimated total cost of $4.5 million. The project is on budget, according to Brunke.
Fronabarger Concreters' project manager on the job, vice president David McMullin, said the project is going relatively well and the lack of rain days has helped progress.
"I just hope the heat won't get too bad and we can continue at our current pace," McMullin said.
McMullin said workers have acclimated well to the heat but are taking frequent breaks and operating under slightly limited hours to prevent heat-related injuries.
Lyndi Lysell, co-owner of State Beauty Supply, said business has remained steady throughout the project and that she has been directing customers to use the building's rear entrance.
"I do wish we had gotten a little more lead time. I just found out yesterday that they'd be starting on my block today," Lysell said.
State Beauty Supply is constructing a new customer parking lot to ease parking limitations. Lysell said the lot will likely be open by fall.
Lysell said it was important to stay positive about the Broadway project. Lysell thought both businesses and residents of Cape Girardeau would benefit from the project.
"It's going to be worth it once it's done. Anytime Broadway looks better, it's better for everybody," Lysell said.
Owners and managers at several other businesses in the block weren't available for comment Thursday.
Developer Kenny Pincksten of Prestige Development is rehabilitating a two story, 143-year-old building at the corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street, which marks the western end of the 600 block. Pincksten said the building will house Esprit Jolie Photography on the bottom floor and Relentless, a video production company, on the top floor.
Pincksten said that while the Broadway project hasn't affected work on the building, he is concerned about the elimination of parking along Broadway.
"Initially, we thought parking would just be removed from the north side of Broadway. Now it looks like both the south and north sides are losing parking space," Pincksten said. "Yeah, it's going to look nice and be attractive, but I don't think it'll be practical."
Pincksten voiced doubts about whether the benefits of larger, more attractive walkways would outweigh the losses of parking in an area where parking is already scarce.
More information about accessing local businesses while the Broadway project is underway is available at betterbroadway.wordpress.com/whos-downtown.
Staff writer Scott Moyers contributed to this report.
600 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO