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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 5 years ago

Businesses remain 'cautiously optimistic' about Granada work

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With work to Granada Boulevard underway, business owners see the project's eventual benefits outweighing its temporary disruptions.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

Although the Granada Boulevard construction project is only two weeks old, business owners along the road say they haven’t been negatively affected by the work. But they are looking forward to when it's over

The project, which will add a median, resurface the road, underground aerial utilities and add landscaping elements, began Jan. 7 and could take nine months to complete.

The majority of the project’s construction will be done at night, which is something Jimmy Hull, owner of Hull’s Seafood Market, 111 W. Granada Blvd., says has helped keep disruptions manageable.

Hull's business will lose some access after the construction is finished, he says, but the benefit of slowing traffic, making downtown more pedestrian-friendly, should outweigh the setbacks.

Because the project includes a median, the lanes will be narrowed and some businesses will lose street parking, as well, which is the only thing Victoria Jones, owner of Frame of Mind, 23 W. Granada Blvd., says she is concerned about.

“We’re happy about it,” Jones said of the work. “When it’s all said and done, it’s going to be nice.”

Jones said her business has parking in the back, off New Britain Avenue, which will be paved after the construction. She also plans to add access from the rear parking, something she’s been thinking about for a while.

Because the project is so new, many businesses are being “vigilant” in assuring their customers that they are still open and letting them know where to park, according to Julia Truilo, executive director of Ormond Beach MainStreet.

“I have not heard anything negative from my businesses,” Truilo said. “They’re remaining cautiously optimistic, which I think is the best way to put it.”

The median and resurfacing phases will be completed first, then the city will add landscaping elements before moving the utility lines and adding decorative street lights.

Finally, the city will add landscaping elements to the sidewalks.

The speed limit on Granada, after the construction, will remain the same, 35 mph, and no U-turns will be allowed at the intersections.

Median installation and street resurfacing is projected to cost $573,000 and be paid for through grants. Median landscaping will cost the city $250,000.

It will cost the city $1,371,929.15 to move the utilities, which, while done mainly for aesthetic reasons, will also protect the lines from storm damage.

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