Section of Broughton Street to close again to install permanent pavers

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 8:24 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 6:22 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A section of Broughton Street is set to close once again for construction on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Some businesses along that stretch are frustrated because the street just reopened in November following a nearly three-year closure.

This closure is only expected to impact two blocks on Broughton Street this time around, and the city says it won’t last nearly as long as the first closure.

The city says the shutdown is so that crews can replace pavers in the street – which, according to the city, were only temporary.

Crews will replace those with more permanent pavers which are currently stacked in pallets on the side of the street.

City of Savannah Communications Director Nick Zoller says project leaders chose to use temporary pavers so the street could open for the holidays.

“There was a supply issue. We weren’t able to get the vehicular pavers in at that time. So, we ordered extra of the sidewalk pavers that were able to temporarily serve for vehicle purposes,” Zoller said.

Zoller said that was the only way to get the street open for the holiday shopping season.

“A decision was made to support local businesses, get Broughton Street open for the holidays and then come back in and in a little slower period before St. Patrick’s Day, get them all replaced,” Zoller said.

According to the city, Broughton Street between Bull and Drayton streets will be closed for the work starting Tuesday.

Zoller said the project will then move between Bull and Whitaker streets, taking a total of two weeks.

One business owner said he was never notified about this latest closure.

“I didn’t know it was happening this quick,” said Sam Dabit, with Joseph’s Clothiers.

Dabit has owned Joseph’s Clothiers for more than a decade. His store is in the impacted area.

He says he didn’t receive any city notice on this latest project.

“So, that’s all news to me. This is all brand new news to me,” Dabit said.

But Zoller said the city has hosted webinars to update businesses throughout the project.

“Ahead of this temporary reopening, before this little bit of work that has to be done, we were communicating with a lot of these businesses,” Zoller said.

The city couldn’t provide a timeline for when notices for replacement of these pavers were sent out to businesses.

“When we reopened the roadway for traffic, we stated that there were going to be ongoing construction needs that were still going to be in place, that this wasn’t a fully complete project yet. This is one of those aspects,” Zoller said.

But for construction-weary business owners like Dabit, the work has taken a toll on his bottom line.

“Just with the streets being open now, we’ve noticed our numbers have been increasing. There’s more traffic flow. With them closing the street down again? It’s not going to help. It should’ve been more organized. It just seemed like it was a mess going on out there,” Zabit said.

Zoller said he agrees that the process can be frustrating, and that the city is working on a permanent fix.

A previous notice said this project would take five weeks, but the city told the contractor that was not acceptable. Zoller said this work should only take two weeks total.

“It was important for us to give Broughton Street businesses along with residents and visitors a beautiful holiday season so we invested in purchasing additional pavers to get this road done. The City’s cost of these materials was about $70,000 and the rest of the material cost and labor cost were covered by our contractor, Astra,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

The temporary pavers that were purchased will be saved by the city and reused for other projects as they are needed.