METRO is celebrating what it calls a "major milestone" in the construction of the East End Light Rail Corridor, but nearby businesses aren't cheering. Today, contractors poured the concrete for the expansion of Harrisburg Boulevard. The new roadway will enable crews to divert traffic so that it can repave the rest of the 3.3 mile stretch of road and eventually install rails down the middle of Harrisburg. The 150 foot long 22 foot wide slab marks the beginning of the second phase of construction for the East End line. The rail guideway will be installed sometime in 2011 with completion expected in 2014.
The construction, already a year old, is frustrating some business owners who say the project is hurting their work. They hope the finished line brings them more business eventually, but for now they worry about being able to make ends meet.
The METRO light rail expansion, which includes multiple lines extending north, southeast, and west, is a $1.4 billion project.