PINE BLUFF, Ark. — A street in downtown Pine Bluff has been reopened after being closed since early 2015 when two buildings collapsed.
The block has been closed to traffic since February 2015, when a vacant Veterans of Foreign Wars building and the former Band Museum collapsed. It reopened Tuesday, according to the Pine Bluff Commercial (http://bit.ly/2dOg3wG ).
The two properties were purchased by Danny Bradshaw, and he began removing the brick and timber for resale in August 2015.
Bradshaw originally hoped to clear the area by Nov. 14, 2015, but was delayed. Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said storms delayed the removal process.
“It was wonderful to see the street opening back up again,” said Alderman Steven Mays. “I rode back through there personally. It feels good and it gives us hope that there’s vision and prosperity on its way back to downtown Pine Bluff.”
Since February 2014 several buildings have collapsed, including Garland Trice’s building in July 2014.
According to multiple store owners, the block closure heavily affected business. Owner Kendrick “Pop” Williams of Pop’s Barber Shop said while the street opening is “a blessing,” business is still hurt.
“When we came in down in ’03 we were real busy,” Williams said. “We’re still getting business because of our name, but it’s not the same like it used to be. It hurt our walk-in traffic.”
A proposal to set a Dec. 31 deadline to have the area completely cleared was approved by the Pine Bluff City Council on Monday.
Information from: Pine Bluff Commercial, http://www.pbcommercial.com