Businesses Feeling Pinch Of Route 11 Detour
A section of Route 11 in the town of Adams has been closed for about 10 days -- all to repair a culvert under the street.
Work could take another month to complete, which local businesses say is hurting their bottom line.
The owners of Behling's produce stand on Route 11 between Adams and Adams Center say they rely on drivers passing by for business.
The say sales have been cut in half since the road closed and they had to lay off three employees.
"It's a very seasonal business," Mike Behling said. "We only have about six months to make any money. We close up during the winter time, so you hate to see this happen."
Behling says he's staying positive and is confident they'll bounce back.
"We'll try to get through it here," he said, "and in September hopefully it's a nice new bridge and everybody will be excited to drive over it."
Even businesses before the detour are feeling the pinch. Sales at Green Thyme health foods are down 50 percent. The owner says they lost $500 in just the first week.
"I thought it wasn't going to affect me until last Monday morning," Kelly Widrick said. "And the week went on and I was like, yeah, this is affecting me. Business is down. A lot."
The state Department of Transportation says the road needs to be closed to do the work. Officials say keeping one lane open could have prolonged the construction until mid-October.
"The best analogy I can come up with is it's like tearing off a band-aid," DOT spokesman Mike Flick said. "You just kind of bite your lip and rip."
"We're in and we're out," Flick said, "and hopefully the project will be done in another few weeks and things can kind of get back to normal."
Friday, January 30, 2015, Watertown, NY
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