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Sixth Avenue businesses adjusting to street closure

'Downtown Links' project closes busy intersection
Sixth Avenue's closure between Seventh Street and Toole Avenue is set to last until March 2022.
Posted at 4:38 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 07:38:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson’s lengthy ‘Downtown Links’ construction project is making progress, but it’s also closing more streets.

In addition to repaving those streets, crews are building a new, large underground drainage system beneath some streets as part of the third phase of the ‘Downtown Links’ project.

Sixth Avenue is now closed at Seventh Street, through the underpass to Toole Avenue. The city’s Department of Transportation and Mobility says that closure is expected to last until March 2022.

Business owners on Sixth Avenue are now hoping the closure doesn’t shut out potential customers.

As the new signs and barriers went up Monday morning outside Miller’s Surplus store, owner Donald Sloane began to worry that his business would be cut off from his customers.

But even without a steady stream of cars driving by, traffic inside the store kept moving.

“And I’m happy to see that, because I thought for sure that I’d be closing up for maybe 12 o’ clock, or eight o’ clock or 10 o’ clock,” Sloane said. “But then, everything started to produce. When it started to produce, I was tickled pink.”

With Stone Avenue only recently reopening to cars as part of the construction, Sixth Avenue had been bustling with cars in recent months. Now, losing that heavy traffic may actually have some benefits for businesses on the block.

“Nice, peaceful, little less noise,” said Scott Safford, who owns Tap & Bottle with his wife Rebecca. “Parking might be easier. We still have sidewalk access here on Seventh Street. So if you’re on, like, Fourth Avenue, it’s like a two minute walk over to here. So it’s pretty easy to get here on foot, by bike."

Safford wants to make sure the 'Road Closed' signs don't discourage people from visiting any of the businesses on the block.

“Come down and see us and support local," he said.

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