• Portion of Hawthorne Lane, closed since summer, reopens in Elizabeth

    By: Stephanie Tinoco

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Drivers finally have some relief in Elizabeth as parts of Hawthorne Lane reopened for the first time since last summer. 

    [READ MORE: Busy bridge in Elizabeth neighborhood will be closed until 2019]

    The stretch of road between Park Drive and 7th Street has been closed since July, due to the LYNX Gold Line construction.

    Hawthorne Lane will still be closed between 7th Street and Central Avenue, where crews are replacing the bridge that spans Independence Boulevard.

    [Neighbors losing patience with Charlotte streetcar construction]

    Crews began driving pilings for the new bridge this week.

    That work is being done during the day, but neighbors have complained about loud construction keeping them awake at night.

    Crews said that's because some of the work has to be done at a time when they can close part of Independence Boulevard.

    Businesses in the area are excited to finally see cars driving through Hawthorne Lane as another phase of construction is complete.

    Business owners told reporter Stephanie Tinoco that they have struggled through the construction period. Their biggest complaint is that customers have been avoiding the area to avoid a headache.

    “It’s not been fun at all, for sure,” Richard Graham, owner of J. Graham & Co. Salon, said. “It’s been tough juggling people running late on appointments and trying to find their way to our location on time.”

    Nick Link, owner at Hawthorne Pizza, said they’ve taken a hard hit, losing between $40,000 to $50,000 every month since the beginning of construction.

    “We managed to plateau and stop the bleeding as much as we could but still, that 20 to 25 percent is huge,” Link said. “Luckily, we have so many different stores that we’re able to absorb that but if we were just by ourselves it would probably crush us. We probably would have closed.”

    Link said he’s lost faithful employees and customers because of the construction. He’s relieved this phase of construction is done.

    “It just brings it back to life,” Link said.

    Nearby residents said they’re considering moving away because of the construction.

    “I’m planning to move to the suburbs eventually so, like, I might have stayed longer but it’s kind of, it’s just a pain,” Amanda Tuck said.

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