Greensboro streetscaping project paused after business owners rally against road closure

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A lane of traffic has reopened on North Eugene Street amid a streetscape project prompting growing frustration and accusations of mistrust. 

Business owners raised their concerns to Greensboro City Council members Tuesday night, saying a full closure of the road would hit their bottom line a second time. 

Tuesday both lanes closed so crews could begin work installing a waterline, new sidewalk and planters.  

John Hill owns Select Cycle and learned late last week construction would shut down the road until mid-April. 

“There’s no easy cut through from another street or a parking lot nearby. If anything, you’re going to park and walk 300 to 400 yards, and customers just get confused, especially our customers coming from other cities,” he said Wednesday. 

Acropolis’s lunchtime deliveries suffered when drivers could not easily access the front doors of the longtime staple in downtown Greensboro. 

“After seeing what happened yesterday, I don’t see how we can operate without having one lane open,” said owner Jimmy Contogiannis. 

He told city council Tuesday night the restaurant celebrated its 54th anniversary two months ago, and they need to keep their customers to make it to year 55.  

“We need to work out all these questions and answers we have, and we need to come up with a plan where it won’t cost us to operate and be able to operate,” he said. 

The nine-member board admitted they promised business owners they wouldn’t shut them out again after construction closures from the Hyatt Place and Carroll at Bellemeade Apartments in 2017. 

“For us to complete this in a way that minimizes disruption to all stakeholders, our engagement with the contractor indicated that closing the street is the warranted step here,” said Hanna Cockburn, director of Greensboro’s transportation department. 

Business owners shared their relief to see the lane reopened and hoped it would remain so during construction. 

“I am glad that they stepped up and said we need to work this out. It really means a lot to me and my neighbors I’m sure,” Contogiannis said. 

Both business owners were notified of an internal meeting among city staff and waited to learn more Wednesday night. 

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