Traffic Nightmare on Poplar at Mendenhall Continues

(Memphis) City of Memphis Public Works officials said Thursday they hope the construction to a sewer line at Poplar and Mendenhall will be completed next Tuesday, June 11th.

“We are going to be working late in the evening. We hope to work Saturday and Sunday through the weekend and just finish it up,” said Paul Patterson from Public Works.

Patterson said this all began when a cavity formed along Poplar because of the broken 60-year-old concrete sewer line. It will be replaced with a plastic sewer line.

“The city is getting ready to embark on a really extensive sewer assessment and rehab program. That will let us investigate lines and determine what kind of repairs need to be made,” said Patterson.

Meantime, drivers and businesses in the area are in pain.

“Now I’m losing $500 every day,” said Aimer Shtaya, owner of Casablanca, a restaurant at the intersection.

He said Thursday his restaurant is usually packed at lunch time. Today, there were only “three tables, as you see.”

Shtaya said he still has workers and bills to pay and wishes the city had considered doing the work at night.

“Why everywhere in the United States, when they want to do some construction in the city or the highway, they do it at night?” asked Shtaya.

“I know the traffic late at night would be less, but there was concern over worker safety at night,” said Patterson.

The construction will have two of three lanes closed in the westbound lanes on Poplar.

Rain and drilling through one foot of concrete have been complications in the project that was originally supposed to last tendays.

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