Rockton construction impacts nearby businesses & bus routes

Updated: August 7, 2017 12:15 a.m.

ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) -- As IDOT's construction along IL 75 continues, Rockton bus routes have been altered to accommodate.

Main Street in Rockton closed two weeks ago, however First Student Charter Bus Rental says that closure has only added about 5 minutes to their routes. They say students will not be very affected by these changes.

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ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) -- "The light came up, and nobody came around anymore." – Margaret Wilkosz

Rich's Treasure Chest Co-owner Margaret Wilkosz tells me April was a record sales month for her antique and repair business.

However, Wilkosz says. That quickly came to a halt.

"People feel that it's very difficult to shop, to park, to get here," reflects Wilkosz.

When The Illinois Department of Transportation’s construction project started in Rockton this May, many businesses near that project took a hit.

On Tuesday, phase 1C of the project began, which includes closure of Rockton's Main Street. A home to many local businesses.

Other store owners like Lisa Washington of Taylor + Max say they have felt the impact, but less severe.

"Because I am the only children's boutique in this particular area, my customers are finding out about me, and they are making the drive,” says owner, Laci Washington.

Washington feels the changes are needed.

"It is a good thing that a stop light is going up in this area. I think it will control the number of cars that pass through this area." "It's a little inconvenient, but it's not too bad."

Gem Shop store owner Kevin Mueller says that inconvenience is something he's willing to put up with.

"We just wanna get the word out to people that it isn't so hard to get here. This will be over soon enough," Kevin Mueller.

But for store owners like Wilkosz it's more than just a minor setback.

"It's making us reconsider staying because you have to have clients in order to stay open," says Wilkosz.