South Fifth Avenue could reopen to traffic in January, says Ann Arbor DDA director
Wondering when South Fifth Avenue is going to reopen to traffic between Liberty and William streets in downtown Ann Arbor?
It might be sooner than you think.
The final structural concrete pour for the underground parking structure project on Fifth Avenue is scheduled for Wednesday — weather permitting.
"After that, there is a 30-day cure time, followed by waterproofing and then pouring the concrete for the road," Susan Pollay, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, wrote in an e-mail.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Many downtown businesses — especially Jerusalem Garden and Earthen Jar, which are located on the closed section of Fifth — have been waiting anxiously for the street to reopen. The street has been closed to traffic since September 2010.
Owners of both restaurants have spoken out before the Ann Arbor City Council and said business is hurting because of the construction, and they think they deserve some form of compensation from the city or the DDA.
Mayor John Hieftje said in July he wasn't sure what more the city could do for the businesses, but he noted Fifth Avenue was expected at that time to reopen by Dec. 31.
The DDA is funding the $50 million underground parking structure, which will be owned by the city. Remaining work on the project is expected to continue into next spring.
DDA officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking to kick off the project in September 2009, though it was some months later before major work was under way.
The deck is expected to include somewhere around 700 parking spaces. It originally was expected to open in August 2011. But by late last year, due to a delayed start, project officials said it wouldn't be finished until December 2011 or January 2012.
The project manager for contractor Christman Co. offered an update on the timeline in July, saying the project would be finished in spring 2012.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.