If you’re feeling that all the construction on Main Street in downtown Presque Isle is holding you back, you’re not alone. Several business owners are also tired of the inconvenience its created for pedestrians and patrons.
Shawn Cunningham reports on how the project is impacting local businesses.
Construction projects continue to tie up traffic along Blake, State and Academy Streets. Over the last month, the Presque Isle Water and Sewer department have been completing a project to replace old water and sewer lines within those areas. Its reduced traffic lanes from four down to two…and created a traffic obstacle course of sorts in the downtown district. That’s also created a problem for local merchants.
Chantal Graves is the owner of Merchants on the Corner…
SC: A little bit of a nuisance?
CG: A big nuisance I can’t wait for it to be over they take up all our parking spaces there’s four parking spaces in the front of my shop that has to be shared with six other businesses so its really affected my business.”
Dwight Helstrom Owner, Dwight’s Barber Shop
SC: Hasd it affected business a bit?
DH: Yes, last Thursday they had the streets shut right off and I sat here for about three and a half hours and some customers came and they had to go up second street and park in the hotel parking lot and walk down…
David Wetherall a local patron says “yeah, you gotta go around the back streets and fight the traffic to get where you wanna go..”
Ariana Patterson a sales associate for Wilder’s Jewelry Store adds “construction is probably hampering things a bit people are finding their way around the back to the parking lot on the side but yeah, I’d say traffic flow is a little light right now.”
Stephen Freeman is the Superintendent of the PI Utilities District and adds “overall the business owners have been very good they understand the work needs to be done and we do what we can to try and accommodate them.”
Freeman says he sympathesizes with local businesses but the construction is a necessary inconvenience at least right now. He asks that people be patient as it will benefit the city and businesses in the long run.
Freeman says “the work needs to be done and we’re doing it in preparation for MDOT next summer on repaving Main Street so you have to bear it for a while and hopefully it will be better.”
Business owners say they share that hope indeed.
Helstrom adds “I just hope they get it done so things can get back to normal as quick as possible.”
Patterson says “I am hoping on many levels that they’re gonna hurry up and finish this project…
SC: what do you wanna say to the construction guys?
CG: uh. Hurry up…