Downtown Concord construction prepares to enter next stage

CONCORD — The city of Concord says construction is progressing downtown and in the coming months, it will shift to the Cabarrus Avenue intersection and toward Killarnay Avenue. Residents hope the worst is behind them. Businesses are continuing to find creative ways to stay afloat.

Like any good mullet, Robert Burrage’s spot is business up front and a party in the back.

“We’ve always been a unique place,” he said.

He owns The Mullet at Lil Robert’s Place. It used to just be a thrift store. But when the city started the downtown Concord streetscape project, Burrage made the call to temporarily close his dive bar next door and set up a bar inside his thrift shop.

“I couldn’t move this stuff to the bar, but I could move the bar over here,” he said. “So far customers are showing us love. We still need more.”

This is just one of several businesses trying to pivot and keep people coming as construction keeps chugging along. Several businesses, including Streakers and Goldberry Books, have special hours because of the work. Cabarrus Creamery is closed indefinitely.

The city of Concord says crews are making progress. A small portion of the future extended sidewalk is completed on part of Union Street.

In the next couple of months, the work will shift up Union including the major intersection at Cabarrus Avenue. There will be a two-week notice before ground is broken at the intersection.

Concord leaders are trying to host big events like Saturday’s Easter 5K and the Spring Art Walk on April 6 to keep foot traffic coming.

The city says liquidated damages are built into the contract. The current contracted substantial completion date is August 5, 2024.

If it is not substantially finished by then, the contractor can be fined $250 daily.

VIDEO: Business owners blindsided as part of Union Street to close in Concord through summer

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