Repairs to St. Charles Ave streetcar line finally finished - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Repairs to St. Charles Ave streetcar line finally finished

After three years of work, construction on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line is finally finished, but the road to today was a bumpy one for passengers and local businesses.

During the past year, Darren Campobello learned to build in extra time to his schedule to catch the streetcar to work. It was an inconvenience, he says, that he wasn't sure would ever end. "Nobody could tell you when man, so we were just like yeah, come on," said Campobello.

Three years after the project first started, the lines are now re-done. Campobello and other riders will no longer have to switch from the streetcar to a bus at the portions of the road closed down for construction. Rider Kenisha Connor says, "It's very relieving, faster, better, way better."

The Regional Transit Authority admits the project dragged on at times, citing contractor issues, bad weather and even Mardi Gras. Spokeswoman Patrice Bell Mercadel says, "We know that it has created some inconvenience for our riders, but that's part of the price of progress and making certain they are safe in the long run."

Inconveniences also extended to businesses that line the route. Glenna Broderick, who works at Avenue Café, explains, "A lot of the frustration has been about the dirt and the dust that just pours in the door so it's been something else, I'm sure they're cleaning up but we've got to clean up too."

Other establishments reported slower sales because of the work, but now that it's finished, locals say it'll improve not only the aesthetics of the city but passenger travel as well.

"We're glad as residents and business owners here in the community that this is finally done, we're past this and excited about passengers going up and down the avenue again," said Stanton McNeely III.

James Taylor adds, "It was a hard three years but I think it was worth it after you look at the way the lines are running and everything I think it was very much worth it."

While the major work is over, the RTA says there will still be some minor construction and cleanup work going on through the end of the month.

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