Enough is enough already.
After weeks of pleading from businesses owners along the South Limestone corridor that the major overhaul of the street be speeded up because their businesses are suffering, frustrated Urban County Council members acted.
At its work session Tuesday, council unanimously voted to ask the city to find out how much it will cost to extend the work day of construction crews from 6 a.m. to about 11 p.m. Crews currently work only during the day.
Council can then decide whether to speed up the project. The information is needed "so we can make a final decision and lay this to rest," said councilman Kevin Stinnett, who made the motion.
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However, Vice Mayor Jim Gray said: "I don't think we should pay a dime more, since we are paying 50 percent more than was budgeted."
The $17 million South Limestone project started in July, with completion slated for next year. It includes replacing and repairing sewers, burying utility lines and installing new pavement, sidewalks, trees and rain gardens between the Avenue of Champions and Vine Street. One lane of South Limestone is open to local traffic in the work zone.
Gray said he visited the construction site Saturday and saw only a skeletal crew working. Gray asked the city's on-site project coordinator George Milligan why ATX Construction was not working on Sunday. "All other emergency operations work on Sunday," Gray said.
Gray told Milligan he wanted to see "daily reports on the number of people working."
These frustrations were aired after a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation by Rob Morris, owner of Lowell's Independent Automotive, who said the road project is having a much wider detrimental economic impact than just on the dozen or so businesses along the South Limestone.
Morris estimated that the city stood to lose $88 million in wages, productivity and spending because of the closure of South Limestone.
Stinnett asked the mayor to have the figures about the cost of speeding up the project by next week's work session. "I'm as frustrated as anybody with no action," he said after the meeting.