Business owners prepare for Lake Havasu Avenue construction project
Owners and managers of businesses along Lake Havasu Avenue say road construction set to start this month and last through Memorial Day weekend will reduce their clientele.
Maurice Choi, owner of the Chevron gas station on the northwest corner of Lake Havasu Avenue and McCulloch Avenue said he expects to see less customers during and after construction because people will no longer be able to turn anywhere along Lake Havasu Avenue to get to his store. Although they’re not supposed to turn using the center lane marked with solid yellow lines, patrons make those turns regardless, Choi said.
In the next five to six months, the contractor will add a median along Lake Havasu Avenue between Mesquite Avenue and Swanson Avenue to keep people from turning left unless they’re at the intersection. While repaving the road, the contractor will also improve water utilities, sewer and storm drainage. The project will also include paving the existing concrete crossroads and crosswalks and getting rid of the London Bridge markers at the center of the crossroads.
The median and the areas between the road and sidewalks will get new landscaping during the project, including desert plants in the wider parts of the median. The project will also include upgraded traffic signals, curbs and gutters.
City officials held an open house meeting on Thursday to answer questions the public might have about the project.
Jeremy Abbott, assistant city engineer, told Choi the number of accidents in that corridor in the last five years was a key factor for the project. With a daily average of 14,000 vehicles driving those two blocks, there have been 86 accidents in that stretch of Lake Havasu Avenue.
The city will work to reduce impacts on businesses during construction and business access will be maintained throughout the construction period, Abbott said in an interview last week.
Robin Harvey, district manager of the Burger King on the southwest corner of Mesquite Avenue and Lake Havasu Avenue, said anytime there is construction in front of a business that business loses sales.
She said she will have to keep an eye on her sales and make sure her employees’ great customer service keep customers coming back despite the hassle of construction.
“With change, you always have to adapt to it,” Harvey said. “We all just have to make it as positive as we can. We can’t change them doing it.”
Lake Havasu City Council members are expected to award the project bid to a construction company at their meeting next Tuesday. Abbott said construction will likely start Nov. 22.
The project will cost $3.6 million, and will be paid using capital improvement project funds.