Business owners react to Dickinson Avenue construction in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Construction has resumed on the roughly $21 million Dickinson Avenue Project expected to take about two years to complete. This raises the issue of what that will mean for businesses along the road during that time.

Crews with Fred Smith Company of Raleigh began working in the area of Atlantic Avenue and Ficklen Street in Greenville on Wednesday.

Aji owner, Miki Ragsdale, says she hopes her candy and wine store will not be impacted financially.

“Definitely some concerns, I think that people once they reach Dickinson Avenue and see the blocks, they could potentially leave the area and go somewhere else to pick up what they would have picked up here on Dickinson,” says Ragsdale.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, construction was halted in 2023 after the original contractor abandoned the site and was found to be in breach of contract.

Senior Assistant Resident Engineer Jason Beasley says the section of roadway will be walkable but motorists will be detoured onto 14th and Evans Streets.

“A lot of congestion being down there with the work being done and we just feel like it will be safer, the pedestrians are able to walk downtown instead of trying to drive through that section at this time,” says Beasley.

Meanwhile, City of Greenville Public Information Officer, Brock Letchworth told WITN the city will not be enforcing parking along the corridor during the project.

Ragsdale hopes that message will keep customers coming.

“Get out of their cars, enjoy the sunshine and spring is right around the corner, please come on in and visit us and see the stores and don’t worry about parking at all,” says Ragsdale.

The NCDOT says new the price tag for the project is the same as the previous one but they won’t know the difference until the work is complete.