Construction season is upon us, but for some the congestion and roadblocks have been perpetual thanks to the creeping, crawling mess that is Central Corridor light rail development.
St. Paul’s Little Mekong business district is the latest hit hard by light rail construction, according to the STrib. The stretch on University is now bombarded with the usual suspects of menacing chain link, improvised plywood signs with spray painted arrows (as useful as the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz), and a dirty maze of plastic sheets meant to simulate a sidewalk.
Construction began in March along this stretch and is expected to be finished in October. The city says they’re working hard to meet that deadline, but during the process, they’re doing things like “featuring more pictures of businesses to try to remind people that they’re open and remind people to patronize them.” While some online jpegs are, well, a fine start, more helpful is a loan program available to the businesses to mitigate losses due to construction. The hope is that the finished project will actually bring more business. Whether the current businesses can survive until then is another issue.