Jackson Dig project causes some businesses to lose patience

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(WLNS) – The Dig Downtown project started in the fall of 2014 and even with more than six months of construction already behind us, the finished product is still a long way away.

Construction workers battled through the rain Tuesday as they continued their work in the heart of downtown Jackson.

So far city officials say the project is right on time, even early in some aspects.

But with a projected completion date of mid-November, some businesses along Michigan Avenue are losing patience.

“It’s affected us quite a bit, we’re down I’d say 75 percent of our regular business,” said Suzanne Ivey, manager, Belle Notte Ristorante.

The project, which started off with a modest one block closed off has now expanded to nearly a half mile of blocked-off street.

Despite the inconvenience to businesses, Vice Mayor Derek Dobies says the city is pleased with the progress.

“We hired a local contractor to do the work and we’ve been very happy, in fact they have been out working today in the rain to make sure we stay on target in terms of deadlines for the project in terms of work getting done,” said Derek Dobies, Vice Mayor, Jackson.

All in all businesses recognize the need for the project.

Since the beginning of the construction every business 6 News has talked to has said the street certainly needed it.

“We just know that it’s important for the infrastructure of the city and we know that if they don’t replace this underground system, then we won’t have a downtown, and we want it to grow,” said Kimberly DeVaughn, owner, House of DeVaughn Bridal.

Vice Mayor Dobies says in the future he wants to fix more of Jackson’s streets.

But he’s counting on help from Lansing in order to do that.

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