Reno, NV - There are already signs that road work is wrapping up on the Southeast McCarran Road Project. In recent weeks, crews have reopened lanes at the intersection of McCarran and Longley. But some businesses in the area say the damage has already been done. Some have lost regular customers since the widening project started in April - because people have been going out of their way to avoid driving in the area.
Terrie Gomez, who works out of her family's business, Ace Cleaners, at the intersection says that business has dropped about 25-percent since construction started. She understands what a hassle it can be to navigate through all the lane changes and congestion. But she's hoping the customers come back when the road work ends in the beginning of October.
Over at the other end of the road project, one of the owners of Kona Gold Coffee Co. says he has also noticed a drop in business.
"We're down definitely about double digit percentages over those different months over the summer," says Bryan Sintay, co-owner of Kona Gold Coffee Co. "Summer is our slow time of the year, but as we get closer and into the fall season, it's supposed to be picking up and I just haven't seen it. I think it's due partly to construction."
Sintay is worried that some of his former customers - who have changed their morning driving habits to avoid the construction - won't change their routines back when the road work is done.
Officials at RTC know the project hasn't been easy on people who live and work in the area. They've put up signs near businesses in the corridor that read: "Thank you for supporting your local business during construction."
The goal of the $16.2 million is to improve the road on S. McCarran from S. Virginia Street to Mira Loma Drive. That means pavement rehabilitation from Virginia Street to Mira Loma Drive as well as widening McCarran from four lanes to six lanes between Longley Lane and Mira Loma Drive. It's that last part of the project that has been going on since April that is frustrated business owners. But RTC says everyone will benefit once the road work is done by October 10.
"I appreciate the patience to allow us to go through and finish the work," says Brenda Lee, project manager for RTC. "And when it's all done, it's all going to be better."
The construction company had sent out mailers to businesses saying that work would be done by the end of September. However, Lee says construction has always been scheduled to end in early October, so the project is not running behind schedule.
Still, business owners say they're anxious for the road to reopen completely and for their customers to return.