Central Avenue is expected to reopen to through traffic this Friday, March 17, after 5pm, Charlotte Water tells Axios.
Yes, but: Friday’s rain may delay the street reopening, Charlotte Water spokesperson Cam Coley tells Axios.
State of play: Central Avenue closed to through traffic on Feb. 7 at 9am on the 1300 block near Hawthorne Lane because of an emergency pipe repair. The closed stretch includes several businesses, like the Thirsty Beaver, Moo & Brew and the Warmack.
- No one in the area has been without water during the work Coley says.
- The businesses along the impacted area remain open, as you can see from the signs Charlotte Water placed around the construction. They also added a worker called a “flagger” to help people get to those businesses.
Why it matters: Street closures, especially on Plaza Midwood’s main stretch, are a nuisance when driving is the main mode of transportation. The closure has caused traffic and confusion on Central and on surrounding streets.
- Construction crews couldn’t close a few lanes of Central and keep one open because they need to run new water pipe from one side of the street to the other.
Between the lines: Small residential streets on either side of Central have become packed to accommodate the closure. Bay Street, where it runs from Hawthorne Lane to Pecan Avenue, for instance, is often congested during rush hour.
What happened: There was a water leak on the right side of Central, as you face East. The leak damaged the waste water line and storm drains, causing a waste water overflow.
- Fixing that ASAP was the highest priority from a public health standpoint, Coley says. Crews are currently using pipes to bypass the bad manhole, which filled with water during the leak.
- They’ve also installed water valves to keep water running for those in the area, turned off the leaking portion of the water pipe and inspected the drinking, wastewater and storm drains to pinpoint needed repairs.
What’s next: Crews will install new water pipes and a fire hydrant before, disconnect the leaking pipe from the water system, replace the old brick manhole with a new concrete manhole and repair the storm pipes under the railroad crossing before the road reopens.
- All of this needs to be done without interfering with the railroad’s daily operations, Coley tells Axios.
The bottom line: Minor inconveniences like a road closed for repairs remind us how much Charlotte relies on cars, something Charlotte continues to grapple with as it weighs future transit plans.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Feb. 23. It was updated on March 15 to reflect the expected reopening date.