Main Street in downtown Rochester experienced construction last week, restricting the flow of southbound traffic to one lane after Albertson Street concluding at University Drive.
Consumer’s Energy, a combination utilities company, began construction in order to replace a faulty pipe.
The pipe was changed to facilitate construction beginning in April and ceasing in August of this year that will repair downtown Rochester roads and sidewalks.
The timing of the construction project is due to a combination of ongoing citizen complaints about the quality of roads and walkways and the fact that the current stimulus package allocated for downtown Rochester is almost up.
Unless the money from that stimulus package is spent before winter, the apportioned money will cease to be available.
The construction has affected some downtown businesses already while others reported no adverse effects.
Linda Lucaj, proprietor of Main Street Deli, reported a 35 percent decrease in sales last week due to restricted traffic.
Lucaj points out that Main Street Deli, located just south of Albertson Street, counts on diners who are on their lunch break to come in. The increase in traffic and commute time due to the construction hinders lunch goers’ ability to get to Main Street Deli and back to work on time, Lucaj said.
To counter the negative effects construction has on her business, Lucaj plans to expand her delivery radius and extend evening hours. In addition, she plans to offer special nights such as “Ladies Night” and promotional discounts such as “3’s Company” (buy two get one free).
Some businesses in downtown Rochester, like Paint Creek Tavern, have reported no change in sales during construction. The future construction on Rochester Road does not concern them.
Tony, a chef for Paint Creek Tavern, even expressed optimism for the upcoming construction.
“It’ll bring in construction workers,” he said. “They’ll get off of a long day’s work, come in here and get a beer … they might get something to eat too.”
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