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Business owners in Iowa City excited as Ped Mall reopens

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – The eight million dollar Pedestrian Mall construction project in Iowa City is wrapping up, delighting business owners who’ve been patiently waiting for the fences to come down.

“It’s nice to have it back open and have foot traffic coming through,” Jason Deppe said, owner of Saloon on College Street. “I think it’s a lot more open and people feel welcome down here.”

City engineers call the project a complete reconstruction of East College Street and South Dubuque Street; replacing electrical and plumbing facilities, pavement, and amenities like benches and bike racks.

“There’s been some inconveniences for business and property owners,” City Engineer Scott Sovers said. “Now that things are done, there’s kind of a sigh of relief that we can come back down to Ped Mall and enjoy.”

Construction started in the spring of 2018. All the major walkways are now clear of construction, but crews are still finishing the westernmost portion of East College Street. Sovers says they’ll be done by the end of the first full week in November.

“When you have a bunch of fences up in front of your place and people don’t know where they’re going, it’s not as inviting,” Deppe said, who expects to see business pick up a little as the construction finishes.

Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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