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Alley paving project under way in CRA

By Staff | Jun 28, 2010

Drew Winchester Current and former CRA board members, city employees and city council members prepare to “break ground” on the CRA’s alley widening and resurfacing project Mon-day. From left are CRA Redevelopment Planner Patrick White, Vinnie Zura from the city Public Works Department, CRA Chair-man Don Heisler, CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen, former CRA Chairman Bob Greco and District 1 Councilmember Marty McClain.

Former Community Redevel-opment Agency board member Bob Greco waited nearly a decade to see alleys widened and resurfaced in the city’s downtown corridor.
So, as the milling and paving machines roared to life in the alley behind Region’s Bank Monday, Greco was pleased to see one of the CRA’s longstanding goals come to life.
“I’m gratified this is coming to fruition,” Greco said. “This is one of the first things I worked on when I joined the board eight years ago.”
Following a successful demonstration project last fall between Southeast 46th Lane and Southeast 47th Street, the current CRA board pledged $429,000 for the first phase of the alley repaving project.
That first phase will cover eight square blocks, or about 25 percent of the CRA’s alleys.
As most of the alleys in the CRA are over 50 years old and only 15 feet wide,
Chairman Don Heisler said work on the alleys will not only make two-way traffic a reality, but also make deliveries to area businesses much easier.
More importantly, though, Heisler said work on the alleys is another piece of the CRA’s overall mission, to eliminate blight and make downtown a viable, thriving destination.
He added that alley paving will work along with other CRA programs, like facade grants, to help achieve that goal.
“This helps to complete the total package of a viable downtown,” Heisler said.
Cape City Councilmember Marty McClain, whose district includes the CRA, said the city is also looking to repave Cape Coral Parkway.
McClain said he’s been meeting with city staff to discuss options.
Unlike the alleys, though, Cape Coral Parkway would not be repaved using CRA funds.
Still, McClain said repaving appears to be “on track.”
“Cape Coral Parkway is on schedule to be repaved,” McClain said. “I’m pushing for sometime this year.”