Four months since work crews resumed making repairs and upgrades to Corporate Boulevard, merchants lining the thoroughfare are ready for construction—which has condensed traffic on Corporate to one lane and sometimes blocked entrances to their parking lots—to be over.
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill, who oversees the city’s public works department, expects roadwork to wrap within the next four to six weeks.
“They’re doing some concrete work right now, getting curbs put in,” Hill tells Daily Report. “They still have a few more panels to put in.”
Hill says his office hasn’t received any further criticism about the nearly $900,000 construction projects from nearby merchants, who in December complained that the roadwork had disrupted business and asked the contractor to put the repairs on hold until after the busy holiday shopping season. The city complied, resuming work in early January after a one-month hiatus.
However, many business owners remain frustrated with the way the project is being handled and say it’s still negatively impacting business, albeit not to the same degree it did over the holidays.
Manuel Martinez, who owns Martinez Custom Clothier, says customers have complained to him about how long it takes them to get to his business because of the traffic, especially before 9:30 a.m., during lunchtime and after 4 p.m. It’s resulted in fewer people coming in during those hours.
“It’s a big inconvenience,” Martinez says. “If I was the one doing this, I’d be working at night and not during the day.”
Similarly, Head Over Heels has noticed foot traffic drop on the weekends, particularly when traffic cones blocked part of the boutique’s parking lot, making it difficult for customers to access, which translated to a decline in sales.
“Nobody wants to pull in and have to work around that craziness,” says manager Hadley Race. “Work has slowed down, so hopefully it’ll be finished soon. We’re ready for it to be over.”
Other businesses like Maxwell’s Market have also experienced disruptions, but say they haven’t seen sales take a hit as a result.
“Someone said two Saturdays ago, there were no cars in the parking lot because they were blocking the entrance between our place and Lee Michaels,” says Maxwell’s chef and manager Jennifer Scott. “But we still seem to be busy every day.”