The construction of Carrboro’s first parking deck will close down parts of East Main Street starting Friday — but local businesses are welcoming the project nonetheless.
The project, which is part of the 300 East Main redevelopment, will add 500 parking spaces to downtown Carrboro — 300 of which will be free to the public.
During the six-week construction period, East Main Street will be intermittently closed to allow construction materials for the new parking deck to be delivered.
Deliveries will occur every 45 minutes between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Despite the inconvenience from road closures, local businesses are looking forward to the possible economic benefits from the parking deck.
Josh Wittman, co-owner of Milltown in Carrboro, said he understands progress in the area will require a few inconveniences.
“I really want to see the parking deck come in,” he said. “I’m not going to be too whiny about the traffic stops.”
Beryl Rosen, owner of Main Street Gallery, said he thinks the parking deck will appease those who complain about a lack of parking in Carrboro.
“It’s got to be done,” Rosen said. “You just have to bear with it.”
He said he thinks the first week of deliveries will be rough, but will prove worth it in the end.
“I can’t imagine anybody ever saying it can hurt in the long run,” he said.
The parking deck is part of the first phase of the 300 East Main development project — which also includes the construction of a 142-room Hampton Inn & Suites with retail spaces underneath the hotel.
Later phases will include more retail and office spaces.
Laura Van Sant, the property manager, said after construction was delayed because of poor weather, the parking deck and hotel are scheduled to open by late June.
Van Sant said she doesn’t think the project will cause problems for pedestrians or businesses.
During construction, pre-constructed slabs of concrete will be delivered by trucks and lifted into place by a crane.
“The deck is basically like a concrete version of Tinkertoys,” she said.
Though the sidewalk directly in front of the development has been reopened, pedestrians might need to walk on the opposite side of the road during deliveries.
“Pedestrians won’t be inconvenienced much at all,” Van Sant said.
Carrboro Town Manager David Andrews said the town, developer and local business community have worked together to create the least disruptive plan.
“We think we have a plan to where we’re going to encourage people to continue to come downtown and use Carrboro businesses,” he said.
“We don’t think detour routes are going to be necessary.”
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