It's time for the motorists of Escanaba to practice patience. The dreaded two-letter word - road construction - was scheduled to start today on Stephenson Avenue, one of Escanaba's main roads.
No one likes road construction, but everyone likes good roads. The two, however, go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. Anyone who has traveled Stephenson Avenue in recent years knows the roadway has seen better days. The beating its surface has taken from 6,000 vehicle every day has taken its toll.
There is no debate the project is necessary. Indeed, the city is lucky to be able to afford the price ticket to refurbish the road. The $1.87 million project is largely being funded by grants. The city's share of the project is about $475,000.
The city has prepared both residents and merchants well for the project. Several public meetings have been held to explain it, and more are planned each week the project is underway.
Like any other road construction project, there will be frustration. That's where being patience comes in. This project is going to last well into the fall. The first phase of construction, which began today, goes from Ludington Street to 3rd Avenue North. The second phase encompasses 3rd Avenue North to 6th Avenue North and begins Aug. 6. The third and final phase will be from Sept. 18 to Oct. 16 and involves 6th Avenue North to 8th Avenue North.
A large project that lasts through October is bound to bring delays and inconvenience at time. We all have to realize that this project is necessary and we have to cope and adapt to the challenges it brings. In the end, a new Stephenson Avenue will be worth a few temporary hardships.
Even more important - please remember to support the merchants located on Stephenson Avenue during the construction project. The project may make it a little more difficult to access some businesses at times, but we believe patronizing the Stephenson Avenue businesses will be well worth your effort.
As neighbors, we need to support each other. Don't let a little road construction keep you away from Stephenson Avenue and its merchants. They have far too much to offer.