WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — One look around town and it’s clear that Wheeling has a lot on its plate in 2023.
Its long public projects list is expected to draw new businesses when it’s finished.
But some that are already here are finding the construction to be an everyday hassle.
From new bridges, to new water lines, to a new parking garage, Tito’s owner Christopher Burress is surrounded by civic renovation.
I’ve been here seven years, and there’s been orange out front for seven years.Christopher Burress, Tito’s owner
He shares the city’s enthusiasm for the new projects, especially once the Streetscape is finished.
But in the meantime, just getting in the front door is a challenge for his customers.
With 11th Street blocked off and limited meter spots, foot traffic is not what it was.
I had a couple in yesterday, they’re older, and they said the only reason they did stop in, because they had to park up on Chapline, was because the food was good enough.Christopher Burress, Tito’s owner
Just two blocks away, the Bridge Tavern is in the same boat.
Tenth Street is currently closed for conduit installation, and the new CVB building is in the works across the street, meaning the hum of construction trucks is part of their daily routine.
We try to stay positive about it and endure as best we can, and hang on, and it will all be over soon.Doug Carl, Co-owner, Bridge Tavern and Grill
And when it’s over—the city says we’re in for something spectacular.
Between their projects and private ones like the Doris on Main Apartments, they know that dumpsters and cranes are everywhere.
While large construction areas help push work forward, City Manager Robert Herron says they’re working to contain them to a reasonable space.
We’re coordinating with the Department of Highways to try to minimize disruption, particularly as it pertains to on-street parking, so that the contractor doesn’t get too far ahead of himself and have parking spaces blocked where they’re not working.Robert Herron, Wheeling City Manager
He stresses that we’re in the middle of a Friendly City transformation.
Herron says these ventures may have started around the same time, but they’ll finish at the same time too—and what a sight it will be.
In a few years from now, you’re going to look back and say ‘jeez, we don’t even recognize our downtown.’Robert Herron, Wheeling City Manager
Despite the hurdles to their business, Tito’s says they see good things in Wheeling’s future, and can’t wait to welcome a parking garage full of customers.