ST. CLOUD - Businesses along 5th Avenue in downtown St. Cloud are going to have to endure four months of construction headaches this summer. The road will be closed for construction, from St. Germain Street to Highway 23, from mid May until early September.

City Engineer Steve Foss says it's a building-to-building project, with the road, curb and gutters, and sidewalks all being replaced, with brand new amenities.

The basics are pretty much locked down. But the true scope, the colors, the extent of the streetscaping, are pretty much in flux as we are still meeting with the business owners.

Foss says wooden boardwalks will be used to allow customers to get to businesses in that two block stretch.

Meanwhile, Pioneer Place and Veranda Lounge owner Dan Barth says business owners along 5th Avenue have been strategizing to try to minimize the loss of customers.

As this gets closer and unfolds more, I think in conjunction with the Downtown Council and the Chamber of Commerce, you will see some really interesting things going on to help people navigate through 5th Avenue this summer.

When it's all done, 5th Avenue's road design will be the same, with a single lane in each direction, left turn lanes and parallel parking on both sides of the street.

The sewer and water mains were installed in the 1920s.

In addition, reconstruction of 1st Street South from 5th Avenue South to 4th Avenue will be done at the same time.

The total cost for the project is nearly $1.7 million, with the property owners being assessed about $440,000.

The St. Cloud City Council will hold a public hearing on the project on February 13th.