State College Borough pushes back construction project due to business owners’ concerns
State College Borough is again pushing back a downtown construction project after hearing concerns from business owners. Major construction work is now planned to start on Jan. 2, according to a release from the borough.
The Calder Way Project is meant to beautify the alley and make it safer for pedestrians, according to Elton Hayes, the public relations specialist for the project.
Hayes said the project was meant to start the date after Arts Fest, but got postponed due to supply chain issues. It was then moved to September, which several business owners raised concerns about.
“The timing was just not ideal for businesses. You know, football season, the holidays, a lot of the businesses do a lot of their transactions and they see a lot of their visitors at that time,” Hayes said.
Ray Caravan III, a partner with the Cheese Shoppe, said he’s glad the borough listened to his and other business owners’ concerns. But he still worries about customers being able to get to his store.
According to the project’s contract, access must remain open to businesses with a storefront on Calder. Caravan said people won’t want to deal with the surrounding construction.
“If you block the street off, if I have to force you to walk under a tunnel to get to a business, it's going to deter people from going to that place,” Caravan said.
The Calder Way Project will take several years. According to the project’s website, work will continue until 2027. Phase 1 of the project includes utility replacement from South Atherton Street to McAllister Street.