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Downtown Tigard construction ends, but when will the customers return?

Ribbon cutting set to celebrate end of road work

After months of activity, construction is winding down on Southwest Main Street, and the city is throwing itself a party next week to celebrate.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, Tigard Mayor John L. Cook will officially cut the ribbon on Main Street, proclaiming that construction is finished.

Crews have been rebuilding the road since January, tearing up asphalt and sidewalks to build a new downtown that city officials say will be more pedestrian friendly and deter drivers from using it as a shortcut around congestion on Pacific Highway.

The southern half of Main Street was completely rebuilt, adding new sidewalks, storm water planters to capture runoff and a large medallion to the center of the road.

“The upgrades to Main Street make Downtown Tigard more attractive, spur business investment and development, and encourage people to visit and shop the downtown area,” said Tigard engineer Kim McMillan, in a statement. “Other public and private investments were timed to coincide with the construction work. The city provided new off-street parking and replaced old water and sewer lines in the downtown. At the same time, business and property owners invested an additional half-million dollars in storefront improvements.”

Cook agreed.

“With the rebuilding of Main Street and new private investments in the downtown core, the downtown is thriving,” Cook said. “People are coming back to see how Main Street has been transformed to make it more accessible, more walkable and a very special place.”

But not all businesses are happy with the work done to Main Street.

“I lost thousands and thousands of dollars that I can’t get back,” said Terry Neddeau, the owner of Tigard Liquor Store. “It has been horrible for me. A nightmare. It doesn’t make me real happy.”

Neddeau’s family has owned the liquor store for three generations. She said that if her family didn’t own the building the store is located in, she likely would have lost her job.

“I’ve stayed awake at night wondering if this will all end in January,” she said.

Neddeau estimated that more than 35 percent of her business disappeared during construction and hasn’t returned.

“When they’ll come back, I don’t know,” she said.

Neddeau said her business isn’t the only one that has been hit hard.

“We are all struggling,” she said. “This has hurt everybody. Some of us majorly more than others. It’s a bad, bad situation for me right now.”

The ribbon cutting is set for 10 a.m., at the intersection of Main Street and Southwest Tigard Street.


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