Businesses, Drives happy to see 34th Avenue back open after year of construction

Businesses, Drives happy to see 34th Avenue back open after year of construction

After close to a year of construction including a 6 month delay, west 34th Avenue, between Soncy and Coulter,  in Amarillo is now clear of any delays and construction.

While drivers are glad 34th  is back open, businesses in the area are even more excited.  

"After a year we're very excited," Joni Prater, owner of Nordic Galley Bakeri said. She is pleased to see customers finally coming back. "Many of the businesses on Soncy used to come here every single day for lunch and they just couldn't do it, there wasn't enough time to take detours. It was horrible," she said. 

But she isn't the only one happy to see the construction complete. City officials are also glad the year long project is over. 

"We are very glad and I know that the business owners and the people who live on 34th are very glad that the street is open now," City Engineer Mark Read said. 

He added the $2-million project stayed within budget despite the 6 month delayed time frame. Moving forward, Read said there were things to learn from the 34th Avenue project, including better communication with the community. 

'We will hold public meetings before we start projects and we will get input from citizens," he said. 

Another lesson learned is how to deal with weather related delays. While Read said it's hard to plan for such weather related incidents, he mentioned they will try to plan projects around the times of year when weather isn't typically a big concern. 

Despite delays, drivers, businesses and city officials can breath a sigh of  relief knowing 34th Avenue is now passable without problems.  

The city's next big road reconstruction project will be next summer on Georgia Street after the utility project replacing a major sewer line is complete.