Construction project in Midland nears completion - WNEM TV 5

Construction project in Midland nears completion

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

After months of detours, pounding construction and the seemingly infinite parade of work trucks going in and out, a Mid-Michigan city is finally getting some relief.

Midland's $7 million streetscape project should be wrapping up this week.

"We're elated. And I'm sure everybody who wants to come to the downtown is equally as excited," said Marinell Schafer, business owner.

She runs Diamond Jim's on Main Street in downtown Midland.

Since June that area has been under construction for a new project. Schafer said the price of progress has been costly.

"Double digit percent. So yeah, it's had impact. Like I said, I don't know that anybody escaped it," Schafer said.

Midland City spokesperson Katie Guyer said any detours with the new streetscape will be gone by the end of the day Friday.

"Businesses really hung tough with us for the last five or six months. And some of them did see some down sales because there were some issues with parking and things like that. But we are really excited. Especially with the holiday season coming up to have this completely open," Guyer said.

Another business owner said the project actually helped her bottom line for a little while.

"A lot of people coming down to check out the construction. So they were like, 'ooh, there's a winery in Midland?' So we kind of got a little bit of exposure that way," said Chris Whitted, owner of Grape Beginnings Winery.

Whitted said despite the initial bump, sales ultimately were down 10 to 15 percent from a year ago. Now she is optimistic business will boom again in 2018.

"We all knew it was coming. We all had to plan for it and we still pretty much are all here. So I'm glad for that also," Whitted said.

Whitted believes the streetscape will shine next summer as a destination, drawing plenty of customers downtown.

As for Schafer, she hopes Whitted is right.

"It's been painful, but we're glad it's over with now," she said.

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