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Light Rail Construction Irks Stadium Village Businesses

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Central Corridor light rail construction is moving along on schedule, but businesses in Stadium Village say it’s brought customers to a halt.

The maze of streets, closures, and detours near Washington Avenue and Huron Boulevard is making it hard for people to patronize their favorite businesses near the University of Minnesota campus.

The push is on to get parts of the project completed before thousands of students return in just a few weeks.

Katia Cardens, who works at Campus Pizza, is overwhelmed by the construction mess.

“It’s like a maze out there,” said Cardens. “There’s a lot of road work out there. The roads keep changing, the routes are crazy.’

The businesses that line Washington Avenue near Oak Street are feeling a bit isolated. Central corridor light rail construction has the area in disarray.

“I was working last summer when the construction first started, and it’s been a little rough,” she said. “I’m lucky if I get maybe two to three tables from like 11 o’clock to 4:40.”

Cardens says most of the people that come in are walking, although walking around Stadium Village with all the sidewalk closures is a challenge. It is easier than finding parking.

Dana Goss heads up all the work down in this area of Stadium Village.

“We got the track in and now we can get the curbs and gutters and get the road way right in,” said Goss.

He says the area surrounding Huron Boulevard is a priority for the University of Minnesota. They want the bulk of work done here before fall classes begin.

They want sidewalks and some of the main roads done so students will have no problems getting to class, as well as to their favorite campus pizza joint.

The Central Corridor light rail line should be 75 percent complete by the end of 2012. There is access to Stadium Village during all construction.

You can get construction updates here that will let you know how to get around while crews continue to work.

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