The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

Weaver Street is open to foot traffic after months of construction

After months of reconstruction, Weaver Street has reopened. Access to businesses is no longer restricted.
Buy Photos After months of reconstruction, Weaver Street has reopened. Access to businesses is no longer restricted.

After more than 10 months of construction, West Weaver Street reopened Monday morning to increased foot traffic and relieved business owners.

The project involved sidewalk improvements in addition to the reconstruction of the existing road, the installation of additional piping and storm inlets and a water main replacement, Carrboro Public Works Director George Seiz said in an email.

The town added new curb ramps at intersections, marked cross walks to improve pedestrian and disability access and widened the bike lanes, Seiz said.

Carrboro resident Gretchen Gaskill said the improvements were helpful.

“I got around with my bike during the reconstruction,” Gaskill said. “The road was full of potholes, but it’s much nicer now.”

But UNC graduate student Rose Aslan said bike lanes and crosswalks haven’t expanded enough.

“I thought they would widen the bike lanes but they didn’t,” she said. “Everyone jaywalks. They need more crosswalks.”

The town tried to support local businesses during the construction, but businesses said foot traffic still decreased.

Annette Stone, Carrboro economic development director, said the town was conscious of the impact of the construction on the area’s businesses.

The town used signs to let people know Weaver Street was open for business, constructed in phases, and placed ads in the Carrboro Citizen to minimize the effects, Stone said.

“We did everything we could to let the community know we were open for business,” she said.

The phasing plan allowed the town to close one section of the street while leaving the rest open for business access.

But Alison Nickles, apprentice at the Beehive Hair Salon, said traffic patterns still changed and foot traffic was reduced. She said now that the street has reopened walk-in business has started to pick up again.

Jason Brill, assistant manager of Spotted Dog restaurant, agreed that business had picked up.

“It was noticeable when they reopened the street,” Brill said. “There was more traffic flow.”

The Weaver Street Reconstruction Project began on March 7, and is estimated to last about one year, according to a recent press release.

Workers must still complete pavement markings, seal sidewalks and curb joints and restore areas that are disturbed, according to Seiz.

The town exceeded its budget of about $1 million for the project because it encountered unstable soil that it had to remove and replace, Seiz said.

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