Busy Greenville street now closed for several months

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A busy street in Greenville is now closed for the next several months.

Construction to improve and upgrade a historic section of Dickinson Avenue in Greenville began Monday.

The project includes upgrades to the drainage systems and water and sewer lines, repaving the roadway, and improving the sidewalks for a 1.3-mile section between South Memorial Drive and Reade Circle under a $15.7 million contract awarded earlier this year.

The work will shut down the street until next spring.

Drivers traveling through the area will be detoured onto Memorial Drive, Farmville/ West 10th Street, and Evans Street. However, those who live and work in the area will be allowed to have access to the area during construction.

NCDOT officials initially had planned to start with improving South Pitt Street to Reade Circle. However, the availability of materials, coupled with a recently completed city of Greenville road project that would have conflicted with detours around Dickinson Avenue, necessitated the change in the phasing of the construction.

“We recognize this schedule change is different from what we first told the public, but it’s important we move forward and deliver these important upgrades to Dickinson Avenue,” said Sarah Lentine, resident engineer overseeing the project. “Even though we have changed the construction schedule, the duration that each phase will be closed is the same.

The contractor now plans to start that work next spring, with completion by late summer 2023.

Along the affected stretch of road lies the local beloved restaurant Da Lunch Box.

Employees say they didn’t know about the road closure until last week, and they’re worried that they’ll lost customers because of it.

“We got the papers like last week saying that we were going to get impacted by the work that they’re about to do on Dickinson so we’re probably about to lose a lot of business,” cashier Princess Ruffin said.

Meanwhile, some Greenville residents say they didn’t know about the road closure until WITN told them.

“My request from the city and the Department of Transportation is to notify us when roads are going to be closed and when you’re turning off the electricity because people live in these houses and many of the folks are retired so we’re here during the day,” Franchine Pena said.

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