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9th and 9th intersection to reopen — and shops say they need the boost in traffic

The construction-related closure has been a “rough patch” for business owners.

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) The 9th and 9th intersection remains closed as construction continues in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. The intersection will open to vehicle traffic Friday.

The typically bustling 9th and 9th intersection is scheduled to reopen to vehicle traffic Friday and pedestrian traffic Saturday after about a monthlong closure.

The closure was part of the 900 South Reconstruction Project, which aims to improve and expand the 9-Line Trail by connecting the 3-mile walking and biking path from 9th and 9th to Liberty Park, Central 9th, Poplar Grove and Jordan Park, according to the project website.

Crews near 9th and 9th have been working for weeks to resurface the intersection’s roadway and improve storm drains to better mitigate flooding.

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) The 9th and 9th intersection remains closed as construction continues in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. The intersection will reopen to pedestrian traffic Saturday.

There is more work to do on 900 South — from 900 East to 945 East near Lincoln Street, as well as between 200 East and 500 East, said Bennett Johnson, a public involvement analyst for Salt Lake City and Acme Construction.

“As far as the entirety of the project goes, there’s still a couple of milestones they need to hit,” Johnson said.

There is no exact timeline for completion, but the city hopes to finish improvements by the end of the year.

In the meantime, local establishments have been feeling the pinch amid construction.

Parking has been an issue for businesses like Pizza Nono, and with main routes blocked off, people have had to relearn how to navigate the area, said Nikki Smith with Salt & Honey Market and Eric Martin with Centered City Yoga.

For Coffee Garden, “We’re down about I would say 1/3 of our business,” said owner Alan Hebertson. “Weekends tend to get a little better, but it’s a rough patch here.”

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) The monthlong shutdown has been tough on area businesses, owners say.

He said regulars are able to find their way to the coffeehouse, but he is seeing fewer people wander in while they are shopping in the neighborhood.

In the long run, Hebertson believes the project will be good for the area, but “it’s a long slog,” he added.

Across the street, clothing store The Stockist has also seen a decrease in foot traffic, as well as confusion on how to park, said co-owner Helen Wade. “The first week of the construction we saw a severe drop in business,” she said. But she made social media posts instructing people on how to get to the block and find a place to park, and weekend business stayed “pretty much the same as usual.”

Wade said she was “excited” for the intersection to reopen, and hopeful that the “9-Line construction won’t disrupt business again.”

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Signs and orange fencing redirect sidewalk traffic in the 9th and 9th neighborhood.