Businesses Prepare for Reduced Lanes in Plaza Midwood for Stormwater Pipe Installation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Drivers in Plaza Midwood are preparing for months of traffic headaches as crews install a stormwater pipe on Central Avenue.

Businesses are also bracing for impacts after already suffering due to COVID restrictions.

“It’s going to be backed up. It’s going to be jammed. I mean, there’s no doubt about that,” says John Kirkpatrick, who cuts hair at Olde Charlotte Barbershop.

It’s been a rough year for businesses like the barbershop, which were impacted by COVID shutdowns.

“We took a, took a punch from that,” Kirkpatrick says.

Now businesses in the area are preparing for another potential disruption.

Part of Central Avenue, near Veterans Park, will be reduced to one lane in each direction over the next eight months.

The stormwater pipe installation is part of a $27 million drainage improvement project to reduce flooding and replace aging infrastructure.

“Going down to one lane out here is just gonna be another blow for us, maybe, potentially,” Kirkpatrick says.

Across the street, the operators of self-serve bar Pinhouse say it’s just another thing the business will have to adapt to in these unpredictable times.

The business opened in 2019.

“It was smooth for about the first year, and then they started to do the construction next door at LuLu’s and then the pandemic hit, and now the construction with the road is happening, so we’ve been pretty good at adapting,” explains marketing director Scotty Kent.

He hopeful loyal customers will keep coming, despite whatever stands in their way.

“If your business is good and especially in that area, the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, then people tend to have a loyal following, and we’ve got one as well,” Kent says.

Back at the barbershop, they say they’ll stick it out too.

“Oh yeah, we ain’t, we ain’t closing for nothing,” Kirkpatrick says.