BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
The $17.6 million Orange Avenue Reconstruction Project is well under way as commuters in each direction make their way along the rocky thoroughfare. Soon the patchwork, obscure sidewalks and potholes will be a thing of the past.
Cranes, excavators and dump trucks are a typical sight as contractors and subcontractors of Thadcon LLC, work to update the road. Thadcon is the same company that handled the Beach Street Streetscapes and the multimillion-dollar makeover of Atlantic Avenue.
The dust and commotion of repairs do not seem to bother business owners who say business has remained constant throughout the process.
Business not affected
“I don’t think it’s making a difference, it’s about the same amount of customers. People understand,” Bush Abu told the Daytona Times. Abu is the owner of Hi Five Hair Beauty Supply located on Orange Avenue. A ramp has been placed in front of businesses like Abu’s to lead patrons into the parking lots of affected areas.
Jessica Long told the Daytona Times she is glad that work is finally under way.
“I come down here to take my son to the barbershop, and I go to the beauty salon on MMB (Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard). I’m just glad that something is finally being done to Orange Avenue besides sticking another band-aid on a wound that needs a cast. You can tell it’s going to look nice when they are finished. Somewhere you aren’t embarrassed to drive home to.’’
In Zone 6
The project will include six-foot sidewalks, improved lighting, the installation of new traffic lights and new underground utilities including water, sewer and storm water.
“When the entire project is completed, not only will it look much better but it will be safer for motorists and pedestrians,” Mayor Derrick Henry relayed to citizens at the groundbreaking ceremony back in July.
The burgeoning project runs through the Zone 6 district of Daytona Beach and intersects with Midtown, a majority Black neighborhood. Orange Avenue leads straight to the steps of City Hall.