The reconstruction of the Dunwoody Village Parkway now is expected to continue until the end of October.
City officials say the construction schedule has been extended by 40 days due to delays caused by the ice and snow storms last winter, and the extra time needed in May to move a water main that was buried deeper than expected.
Work began in December on the $2.4 million project that will narrow the parkway and add sidewalks and bicycle lanes in what city officials hope eventually will create a “Main Street” for Dunwoody.
When the project was approved last October, city officials said they expected construction to take seven to eight months, and that they hoped it would be completed or substantially completed by July, in time for the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association’s annual July 4 parade.
But city spokesman Bob Mullen said officials always understood the construction could take more time. The construction contract called for work to take nine months and be completed in September, he said.
Mullen said city officials don’t consider the delay a problem. “We understand it has taken time, and we want it to stay on schedule, but we also understand the need for the extension,” he said. “We’re anxious, but we want to make sure it’s done right.”
Some business owners and managers operating shops along the parkway say the construction has made it difficult for some customers to get to their stores.
“It certainly hasn’t helped any,” said Bob Sheets, a co-owner of Dunwoody Cigar in the Dunwoody Plaza Shopping Center. “I would think the way it’s being done… it’s had to affect people’s ability to get in and out of here.”
Sheets said he didn’t understand the reason for the project. “Why would you take four lanes and turn it into two lanes?” he asked. “To me, it just doesn’t make sense.”
Other store managers say they look forward to a surge in business after the completion of the project.
“I think that will bring more traffic in here when they are done,” said T.J. Patel, manager of Dunwoody Beverage. “I’m very optimistic that we’ll see business go up after the construction.”
Patel said a few of his older customers may have had trouble navigating the orange barrels channeling traffic during construction, but he believed the long-term gains would make up for any lost business during the construction.
“Anything involving the good development of Dunwoody, we’re happy with that,” he said. “It definitely helps business.”