RALEIGH — A two-block stretch of Hillsborough Street near N.C. State University reopened to traffic Friday afternoon two days ahead of schedule.
Construction workers managed to get utility work done early despite rainy weather to restore traffic well before NCSU students return next week. The project is part of developer John Kanes Stanhope student apartment complex, which has begun construction on the south side of the street. The closing affected the stretch between Dixie Trail and Daisy Street.
We made significant progress over the past two days and opened Hillsborough Street just a few moments ago, Kane Realty spokesman Blake Jennings said in an email around 3 p.m. Friday. Traffic on Hillsborough Street is back to normal.
The early finish is music to the ears of Hillsborough Street merchants, who can look forward to a normal weekend of sales as passing drivers can easily park and visit shops. Some of the business owners have said the two-week closing didnt cost them as much as theyd feared, but convenience store College Beverage said its sales were down 75 percent as customers went elsewhere.
Work on the Stanhope project will continue without impacting traffic. Kane is building five floors of apartments with ground-floor retail space around the entire block between Friendly Drive and Concord Street, which had been home to a row of rundown, vacant storefronts.
The building is scheduled to be completed in July 2015.