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Few downtown Columbia roadblocks to reopen before Mizzou homecoming weekend

After almost one year of sewer construction in downtown Columbia, a final completion date is in sight.

A large portion of Elm Street in downtown Columbia has been closed since December 2016 because of the Flat Branch Sewer Relief Project.

Sixth Street from Broadway to Elm Street has been closed off since May because of the sewer project.

Patricia Hayles, spokesperson for Columbia Utilities, said the part of the project on Elm Street will be completed by Friday, just in time for homecoming, and the entire project is expected to be finished by Nov. 10.

Hayles said the timing of reopening Elm Street by homecoming was not planned, it just happened to work out like that.

The Mizzou Homecoming Parade route changed because of the closures.

Come Monday, Sixth Street from Locust Street to Broadway will be closed until Nov. 10, or when the project is completed.

A couple of businesses located in the sections where the roads are closed have been having issues with the project.

Brian Coley, owner of Coley’s American Bistro, told council members Monday night about lack of communication throughout the process.

Coley said city staff never told him what to expect during the construction or how long it would last.

He said there also was a time that the city shut off his water supply because of the construction and never gave him or his staff notice.

Hayles said they usually contact the businesses when the water will be shut off or if there is specific construction that will affect them, but in the case of Coley’s restaurant, there was miscommunication.

Hayles said utilities staff will be looking into their current procedures and will adjust them so similar incidents won’t happen in the future.

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