Factory Street Businesses Worried About Construction

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Inside Morrison's Furniture on Factory Street, the salespeople rely on foot traffic.

People see furniture through the windows, then they come through the doors to buy.

That foot traffic might slow to a crawl next year when a big construction project begins.

The people at Morrison's say they have questions.

"Let us know more detail about how soon, how long will it last, where they're going to start working and when," Al Davis said.

They're still waiting for most of those answers. City officials didn't have much new information at a public hearing on the project at city hall Thursday night.

The project, slated to begin in the fall of 2014, is an attempt to make the street safer and bring in more pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

If vehicle traffic on the street were to disappear, or even decrease a little bit, business owners are concerned about losing business.

That's how Audrey Danielsen feels. She owns First Round Bar and Lounge.

"Are they going to make it easy for customer access? We just started the business last year. We're trying to build the business, so we don't want to lose business because of construction," she said.

"As with any project, it's a disruption and that's part of what we're doing," said city engineer Kurt Hauk. "We're trying to minimize disruption during construction."

Because there's still no contractor for the project, information is scarce. And that has business owners on Factory Street nervous.

"Our main concern is keeping our business going while they're doing construction," Davis said.

But it could still be awhile until they know how.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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