Attention, fans of downtown Olive Street’s businesses and organizations: It’s time to re-route your paths for the next six months. The city is closing Olive Street between 12th and 13th avenues for the construction of Capstone’s student housing project from approximately April 1 until phase one is completed in September.
City Traffic Engineer Tom Larsen says that while a six-month-long, one-block closure isn’t a small one, the scale of the project and its use of overhead cranes means the closure is a safety necessity. “There really is not a way that we could allow traffic and pedestrians that would protect a pedestrian from falling sheetrock that weighs 3 or 4 tons,” he says. “The safest thing is to close the street.”
When phase one of the Capstone project opens in September, Larsen says that the city will close one lane of 13th Avenue for construction staging during phase two of the project.
Larsen says that most traffic takes two to three days to adjust to a closure, but he says that most businesses and their customers will adapt.
The most recent example of something similar in scale is the downtown LCC building, and its construction blocked one lane of 10th Avenue for six months.[Edited 3/28 to reflect that April to September is, in fact, six months and not a year!]