GREENVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – A portion of Main Street — from High Street to Mercer Street — in Greenville opened Friday after being closed since September 3 due to a potentially unstable building.
Local business owners have eagerly awaited the opening and say their sales have suffered as a result of the three-month closure.
“I am very happy and relieved that the street is open. I can hear the traffic running by the store, and you don’t feel like you’re isolated anymore,” said John Rizzo, owner of Greenville Shoe Hospital.
The Greenville Shoe Hospital has been downtown for 26 years. Rizzo said the store’s sales have suffered over the last couple of months, and he says, the frustrating part is that he hasn’t seen any progress on the former N.N. Moss Building.
“It made you very frustrated, because there was no work being done,” he said. “You know, there was no construction. No one going in or out, no communication.”
The borough condemned the Moss building and said the building was structurally unsound and dangerous to those nearby, and Main Street was closed as a result. Business owners have been critical about the process, questioning just how dangerous the building really is.
But while some shop owners said they have seen little work being done on the building, borough officials said all of the repairs happened on the inside.
Crews removed air conditioning units and built braces to support the roof trusses that fell.
“An engineer came out this morning and reviewed that work and determined that work was enough to make that building safe to open,” said Borough Manager Jasson Urey.
Shop owner Kathy Leonard, of Kathy’s Kreations on Main Street, said she has been waiting for this day for too long.
“I was really worried about being able to pay all of my overhead bills here,” she said.
But the work on the building is far from over, Urey said.
“There’s still issues with the building, hence why Ray Street and some of the other areas around it are still sectioned off,” he said. “The engineer did not say it was safe to open up those areas.”
To make some of those fixes to the building, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation may have to again close Main Street.
Greenville leaders haven’t decided when those fixes will be made, but said the road will not be shut down again until after the holidays.