Grover Beach officials have organized what they call a “construction completion party” on Thursday to celebrate upgrades made to a portion of West Grand Avenue — which added sidewalks, crosswalks and new landscaping, but frustrated some business owners as construction blocked lanes and caused traffic jams throughout the summer.
The event, called the Grover Beach Walk Celebration by city officials, will feature food, artwork, local vendors, a disc jockey and a bounce house for children.
Guests will receive a passport to take to participating stores for stamps to compete for prizes. Stores and restaurants will give away samples or offer discounts during the event.
“The Beach Walk will allow locals and tourists to leisurely stroll along the ‘beach shoreline’ and enjoy shopping and dining,” Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals said in a news release.
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The $1.5 million project was meant to improve the appearance of the city’s western gateway and safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
It adds new sidewalks, landscaped medians, crosswalks, palm trees and benches to a stretch of West Grand Avenue between Second and Fourth streets, according to city officials.
Construction got underway on March 22 and continued through August.
To help the business owners affected by the construction, the city offered 20 percent of their rent for three months, and spent more than $9,000 on promotional advertising and signs to alert residents and tourists that the businesses were open during construction.
The block party will take place on West Grand Avenue between Fourth Street and the railroad tracks from 6 to 8 p.m. Both sides of the street will be open to traffic during the event and guests can park on side streets, as well as in participating businesses’ parking lots.
— Cynthia Lambert