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Haddonfield's Kings Highway Closed Saturday, Some Shopkeepers Miffed

Ongoing construction on a streetscape project shuts down part of the major road.

Kings Highway will be closed from Haddon Avenue to Tanner Street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today to install a brick path across it at Kings Court.

The path is part of the $1 million streetscape improvement that stretches from Kings Court, across Kings Highway, down Mechanic and Clement streets and ends at the intersection of Clements and Tanner streets. The path highlights a historic transportation corridor.

Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said the Saturday closure was planned for a time when there is reduced motor-vehicle traffic on the major drag. But some shopkeepers along the borough's main business district are crying foul.

A worker in an athletic apparel shop said the closure couldn't have come at a worse time.

"It's a major back-to-school weekend," he said, shaking his head.

Marlee Lick, owner of , also had concerns about the project.

"I'm not thrilled about it," she said, gazing out the window of her shop at construction on her sidewalk. "I hope, in the end, it will make a difference."

Gary Coleman, owner of the nearby and restaurant across Kings Highway, said the timing could have been worse.

"Better now than Christmas," he said as he carried in boxes to the gift shop that were left at the curbside because of construction. "Fortunately we're a destination store and people come in rain or shine. I think they're doing a good job out here."

The project will enhance the streetscape along the narrow, block-long streets near the Kings Highway and tie in a historic transportation theme. Brick walkways will match the pattern from Kings Court, extend across Kings Highway and down both Mechanics and Clement streets. The corridor will be further enhanced with a small park at the intersection of Mechanics, Clement and Haddon Avenue, and with a street pattern at the intersection of Tanner and Clement streets.

There will also be an upgrade of sewer and drain lines under Mechanic and Clement streets.

A federal grant of $800,000 is paying for most of the work. The borough is kicking in $277,000 to upgrade water and sewer lines on the corridor. The work is expected to be completed by the end of September, McCullough said.

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