SPOKANE - In a blow to both drivers and business owners alike, the City of Spokane has confirmed that construction on 2nd Avenue will not be completed until next spring.
City officials say that crews will pave and make the road drive-able in November and then rip into it again for three to four weeks sometime next spring to finish the project.
Business owners on 2nd Avenue say they were originally told the completion date was Halloween. That date got pushed back to mid-November. Now they?re hearing the completion date is sometime next spring.
"This is ridiculous now, we're at that point," Jane Herber, owner of Taste, which is located at Howard and 2nd, said. "It is a nightmare. It really is."
Taste is at the epicenter of construction chaos. Their business is down 35-percent since construction began.
"I'm just sad basically. I just feel really sad that this is happening," Herber said.
The story is similar at Frank's Diner. Their business is down 40-percent in the last month.
"People just don't want to come down here and deal with the construction," Assistant Manager Jacky Roberg said. "Its pretty frustrating, it?s especially hurt us at night. It?s empty down here."
City officials say that right now four weeks behind on the project. So what?s causing the delay? During construction, crews constantly found an unexpected amount of old utility lines and vaults. They can't just rip those out; they must determine they are not live and that takes time.
City spokesperson Ann Deasy said the city understands businesses' frustrations.
"The business owners are a concern of the city as well. They're citizens too and also taxpayers and we don't want them to lose revenue," Deasy said. "Businesses remain open ... go down there. It may take a couple extra minutes to get down there, but traffic is still open, those guys are still open for business."