WILMINGTON -- In three weeks a busy downtown Wilmington street will soon become two lanes. City leaders say that the two-lane conversion is almost complete, but there are still people not happy with the project. Melina Reed works downtown at Java Dog. She said, "If people are trying to cross the street, no one is going to be looking both ways. We have a feeling it's going to scare people off for a little while until they get used to it." Reed says the construction has had a negative affect on business. "Yeah, definitely, especially since they have been working on our part. It's been a lot slower," Reed said. Stephanie McNeil hangs out at the Java Dog between class and says she's not ready for a two-lane Front Street McNeil said, "Most kids do park down here and they figure if they're on their break they can come down here. But then they're going to worry about a two-way street. They're not going to want to come over." But not all Front Street workers agree. Tony Magino at Zoo Toys and Trains up the street is looking at the bigger picture. Mangino said, "I think it's a good thing. I wasn't sure one way or the other until I saw what the final plans were going to look like." Mangino says since the construction he's seen fewer customers in his store, but overall optimistic front street businesses will profit. Reed said, "Once they're done it should be a little better, but I guess we'll have to find out." City officials say the nice weather lately put crews ahead of schedule and the project will likely be finished by the middle of next month.
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