Roundabout Construction Slows Businesses

By: Jorge Rodas Email
By: Jorge Rodas Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The sounds of construction on the North Main and Auburn roundabout has some store owners saying ouch! Some of them say the slower traffic and confusing roadways are driving customers away and it's hurting their wallets. The city plans to close the intersection for a few days next month.

"Every time you close streets it's costly to a business," Alpha Floral manager Paula Yeager said.

She says shutting down traffic at the North Main and Auburn intersection may hurt the shop she manages. She works at the flower shop just off of Auburn and North Main. She says sales at the shop began to suffer once roundabout construction started.

"Walk-in business is almost non-existent," Yeager said. “I think they're just trying to get through the construction without getting into in an accident. I don't even think they're looking at anything else."

Alpha Floral is one of many area businesses that aren't happy about the road work surrounding them, and now that the busy intersection will close for three days in early June, some are left wondering if they can even stay open.

"That scares me,” Four Paws ReSale Boutique manager Laura Knabe said. While she's worried about how the closure will affect her shop, she's and other store owners say they're trying to adjust.

"With this nice parking lot in the back, hopefully that'll keep people coming,” Knabe said. “They know they can park back here and be safe."

"Just a little bit of an adjustment,” Der Rathskeller manager Mike Dupre said. “We just need to keep everyone up to date, and the signage is up so we are able to get to; you just may need to take a different route."

Yeager says construction is causing a headache when delivering her product.

"Our delivery trucks can't get in here,” she said. “We're literally going to other spots to meet our delivery people. It's time consuming. We have to send delivery people or one of us has to go, and, it's just very disruptive."

Yeager says she's looking forward to when the road work is all done.

The city says the intersection of Auburn and North Main streets will be completely closed off to drivers from Tuesday, June 4th until Friday, June 7th. Detour routes will be posted and there will still be access to public parking lots in the area.

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