CLEVELAND-- One day before Cavs fans flood downtown Cleveland for the home opener at the Q, nearby Prospect Avenue and its sidewalks remain torn apart. The project to repave the street is weeks behind schedule.
The $1.5 million project stretching from Ontario to East 22nd Street, began on July 3 and was scheduled to be completed within 90 days by the beginning of October. Heading into November, the roadway is still a mess, restricted to one lane in each direction with sidewalks closed and no parking allowed.
"There's limited parking, period, so we don't really have parking at all and then for all this stuff to be going on just makes it more stressful," said Raven Ravizee, who commutes to Cleveland State University. "It's annoying."
ODOT blames the delay on unexpected utility lines in the road that utility companies have been slow to move. Crews also encountered old basements of former buildings that created voids, or openings, in the roadway.
"Our utmost goal was to have this completed prior to the Cavs season, but because of these utility delays, we weren't able to do that, but we will ask everyone for their patience."
Businesses in the popular entertainment district along the road, including near East 4th Street, are feeling an impact.
"We're not the only ones feeling the impact. Everybody on Prospect Avenue is feeling the impact of what's going on with this street, and nobody's giving us any answers," said Stonetown Executive Chef Tony Fortner.
Fortner said that in a meeting with ODOT and city officials at the start of the project, businesses were promised it would be done by now. Fortner said daily business is down 40 percent since the project began.
"We still have to pay all our bills, pay our employees, pay our rent, pay our utilities. How can you do that without customers?"
Clemings said repaving will be completed within two weeks, during the week of November 9, with the project completely finished by Thanksgiving. It can't come soon enough for drivers and businesses.