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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Road work no barrier to 4th Ave.

    Cars pass the Speedway Boulevard on ramp Monday afternoon. The Interstate 10, as well as other downtown areas like the Fourth Avenue underpass, will be under construction untill fall 2008
    Cars pass the Speedway Boulevard on ramp Monday afternoon. The Interstate 10, as well as other downtown areas like the Fourth Avenue underpass, will be under construction untill fall 2008

    Bar-crawling UA students may have to take a detour from their usual routes to get from Fourth Avenue venue pubs to Downtown clubs as construction continues on the Fourth Avenue underpass.

    Construction began June 25 and is slated to finish in fall 2008, according to the City of Tucson’s Department of Transportation Web site.

    Portions of Toole Avenue and Congress Street will be shut off due to construction. Traffic has been diverted to Downtown portions of Broadway Boulevard and some delays are expected, according to the Web site.

    When completed, the new underpass will accommodate vehicles, bicycles and pedestrian traffic. Pedestrian walkways will be elevated, lighted and able to accommodate pedestrians with disabilities, the Web site stated.

    Access to businesses will remain, and accommodations have been arranged for anyone who travels between Fourth Avenue and Downtown on foot.

    Redline, a free shuttle, runs through major entertainment and shopping areas, including Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue and Congress Street. The shuttle runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays, according to the Tucson Inner City Express Transit Web site.

    Streetlight and sidewalk improvements have also been made to the section of Eighth Street between Fourth Avenue and the Sixth Avenue overpass.

    Bars, restaurants, and shops on both sides of the construction have not had drastic declines in business due to construction.

    Fourth Avenue as a whole has not experienced a noticeable decline in business, and the free shuttle and sidewalk improvements have kept it connected to the downtown area, said John Sedwick, executive director of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association.

    “”We’re open for business, we’re going strong and we just want it (the construction) to get done as soon as possible,”” Sedwick said.

    At Maloney’s bar, 213 N. Fourth Ave., customers must park farther away than usual, but that has not been a big issue, said Frank Alvarado, a Maloney’s bartender.

    Similarly, Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., has had a busy summer. Although they were originally afraid of a decline in business, the shuttle has kept people coming in, said David Slutes, the club’s entertainment director.

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