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A section of the Enterprise Parkway Extension, from Fournet Street to Gieffers Street, is scheduled to open to traffic on Saturday. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

A section of the Enterprise Parkway Extension, from Fournet Street to Gieffers Street, is scheduled to open to traffic on Saturday. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

Stretch of Enterprise Parkway opens today

Last Modified: Friday, November 09, 2012 7:41 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

Motorists will be able to drive on a stretch of Enterprise Parkway starting today.

City officials said Friday that the route from Fournet Street to Gieffers Street will be open. Construction crews are still working on that patch of the road’s sidewalks.

“Overall, I think this is a terrific project for the northern section of the city. It also benefits the whole city,” said City Administrator John Cardone. “That portion of the overall project includes water, underground drainage and sidewalks when they are finished.”

In January 2011, local officials broke ground on the $10.9 million project.

Its final phase will be a span of road from Gieffers Street to Katherine Street. More than $2 million has been set aside for the work. It is estimated that the project will cost $10 million to $12 million.

Cardone said the city is pleased to have advanced so far with the first phase of work though.

“Most of the roadway will include a median ranging from 3 feet to 30 feet and four lanes of traffic,” Cardone said.

He said that in future years, attention will be given to the second overall phase of the parkway project, which will include improvements and roadwork from Katherine to Fitzenreiter Road.

“All of this will relieve traffic from U.S. 171 and Interstate 10 by providing alternate routes for drivers who head to the downtown area and Enterprise Boulevard,” Cardone said.

“The project will allow traffic to go in different sections of the city, and that will create business interests. That means there will be room for economic development.”

The Enterprise Parkway extension is funded by bonds and is part of the $90 million capital improvement program that voters approved in November 2006.

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