End in sight for Madison Avenue construction in Covington

If you've tried walking the 500 block of Madison Avenue in Covington lately, you know it's a real mess.

Construction of a new streetscape has torn the sidewalk apart and made getting to some businesses like running an obstacle course.

But the end may be in sight.

Since construction began, pedestrians have been forced to hike through traffic over little wooden bridges and have even had to cut through the construction site itself.

"This is pretty silly," said Steve Megerle, an attorney on Madison Avenue. “It's my understanding the mayor didn't like the color so the city commission wanted to tear it all up and spend money."

The mayor's idea or not, the project costs $900,000.

The new streetscape will have underground utilities, trees and ornamental benches.

During construction, one store on the block, Middendorf Supply Co., has been virtually deserted.

"It's not doing the business any good,” said the store’s owner, Ralph Doellman. “It's hurting. I mean nobody's got any way of getting in. Nobody's got any way of parking."

Yet despite his business being hurt, owner Doellman said he thinks the construction is worth it.

"It'll probably be real nice when they get it all finished,” he said. “It'll make a big difference in the whole block."

Nearby, at the KungFood Chu's AmerAsia restaurant, customers are determined to find a way in.

"We have had plenty of carry orders, plenty of dine-in all week, so, it's been almost a normal week," said owner John Lynch.

That's good news to city engineer Mike Yeager, who said the current segment of the project will take several more weeks.

"The goal right now is to be done by Thanksgiving," Yeager said.

Once the streetscapes between 5th and 8th streets are completed, the city will start construction at the 400 block of Madison Avenue.

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