Despite rain, Gene Leahy Mall construction remains on schedule

Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 4:06 PM CST
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January 6th and construction on the renovation of Gene Leahy Mall is still going on, work crews are making progress on the riverfront revitalization project. If you’ve been downtown you can see the difference in what the mall used to look like and what it looks like now.

Work crews have taken advantage of the warm weather this winter but according to MECA, that warm weather brought some rain and a few delays.

Right now, they are on schedule. A lot of what was once below street level is now at street level.

“Of course when that moisture gets into the ground that slows down work a little bit but at this point construction is on time the crews keep plugging away,” said Kristyna Engdahl with MECA. “Grade at Gene Leahy mall continues to progress at towards street level with the exception of 8th Street still a little bit of work to be done there but mostly all the parts of Gene Leahy mall that are going to be brought up to grade are about done.”

Bobbi Gollobit owns a business across the street from the mall. She’s happy to see things move along so fast.

“I thought I was going to be closing and I thought it would be a pain in the toss for a very long time,” said Gollobit. “I think it is coming along quite nicely, I think it’s going to bring a lot of different people I think people are going to come and visit I think it’s going to be very good.”

Developers plan to redo the entire mall. A green lawn for activities and entertainment, a children’s play area, and a dog park are just a few of the improvements planned.

Bobbi is hoping the improvements bring more traffic to the area and more business for business owners.

MECA officials say the lane closures on Douglas Street to accommodate utility work are now open. Officials say they will try to reopen streets around the mall in phases to limit the inconvenience for commuters or people downtown.

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