Belleville construction project creates slowdowns, layoffs for businesses

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 1 at 6:04 AM

 (KMOV) -- A big Metro East road construction project to keep traffic moving is really slowing down businesses and is even leading to layoffs.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has been putting in two new roundabouts in Belleville where Route 13, 15 and 158 meet. The work has been going on there since September of 2012.  Business owners say the work is ultimately impacting their bottom line.

“I’ve decreased my staff and I haven’t done any advertising in the first quarter,” says Lyle Rowden, owner of Far East Fitness.

Rowden knew about the project when he started the business last year, but says he underestimated how large the projects would ultimately be and what it would mean for his business.

D&D Motors has a sign on the front door that reads “This office will be closed due to construction”.

Other store owners say changing detours and closures in front of her store makes it difficult to explain to their customers how to get to there.

“It’s been crazy because we never know when they’re going to close our street off completely,” says the owner of Nail Kraze, Jennifer Carrol.

Carrol says she relies on the local media to inform her about a detour or closure change.  IDOT though, has been working with local businesses says, Tom Borsch an acting supervising field engineer with IDOT.

“From a construction point of view we try to increase access and lessen the impact we have on them,” says Borsch.

IDOT has been opening certain lanes and directions of traffic that would’ve been closed under the original plan, says Borsch. 

The project to complete the two roundabouts is ahead of schedule, says Borsch.  Originally work was supposed to be finished by November, but weather permitting, Borsch says it may be finished by July 4. 

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