Ryan Streetscape Update: Pujo intersection begins Monday

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you've been downtown lately you've probably noticed the Ryan Streetscape Project is moving right along. City officials say its next big stop is the Pujo/Ryan Street intersection for the intricate brick medallion centerpiece.

The work begins on Monday, October 31st. During this phase the Pujo intersection will be closed to traffic for 30 to 45 days. Work crews have set up necessary detours to access area businesses. If the nice weather continues Project Manager Scott Sittig said they'll stay on schedule.

"The biggest challenge is to make sure we don't hit any unforeseens in the Pujo Street intersection. If we remove concrete and there is nothing down there like water lines we have to move or fiber that is over there we can move right along with out project. And the 30 to 45 days should stay," said Sittig. "When we finish I think everybody is going to enjoy the outcome of this project it is just beautiful. If you notice from Kirby to Clarence phase that is already complete."

While the intersection is closed drivers will notice several different detours for area businesses. Pujo Street from Ryan Street to Bilbo will temporarily be two-way to accommodate traffic. Meanwhile signs have already been posted directing drivers to enter the City Hall Parking log on Bilbo Street to access additional parking.

During this phase crews will work 7 days a week to finish the intersection. While a project this size could potentially be bad for business, Pujo Street Cafe owner Dan Schaad said he believes the worst was over.

"I think people are kind of aware and used to what's going on in downtown at this point," said Schaad. "This really couldn't come at a better time. This is our slow time of year. So I haven't really noticed much of a difference from this year compared to previous years."

During the next month Schaad wants people to know they are open for business and is counting on regulars to keep coming back.

"I'll admit it's a little inconvenient to come from way back there and drive around... but it's import that I get here," said Phillip Caddy, Pujo Street Cafe regular.

"You know I've found that people do find a way to get to you. So it's been gratifying," said Schaad.

Once this phase is complete crews will begin working on the sidewalks from Pujo Street to Broad Street. However, they said they will be at a stopping point in time for Mardi Gras parades to roll through on February 21st.

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