Business owners feel pinch of roadwork

Published 9:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2012

The owner of the Beeline convenience store on Brundidge Street said this week has felt like a re-opening, even though the store was never closed for business.

Due to construction on South Brundidge Street, one entrance to the building was blocked off. Later, more work on Center Street closed the store to all traffic and only pedestrians could shop there.

“Some of my regular customers parked next door and came in anyway,” said business owner Ashok Patel. “But our business was cut down to less than half.”

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Patel said it’s been hard to pay his bills with so little business over the last month. In particular, he cited that a truckload of gasoline costs about $25,000 and gas companies only allow a nine-day credit before he must pay for the gas. With few, then no customers, being able to pull their vehicles up to the pump, that payment was a big blow.

Mike Davis, water and sewer superintendent for the City of Troy, said that Patel has been as patient and understanding as possible.

“In today’s world, you don’t deal with people like that very often,” Davis said. “Especially when it comes to their livelihood. He sacrificed a lot with his business.”

Davis said that although it looks as if construction is still blocking the Beeline, drivers can now navigate onto the store’s property with their vehicles.

“We were able to open the road closed point at Brundidge and University and move it back to Center,” Davis said.

Patel hopes to see more people come to shop at his store soon.

“We are open regular hours from [6 a.m. to 10 p.m.] and are waiting … thinking someone will come, someone will come,” Patel said. “It’s been really bad.”

Currently, construction crews are continuing the resurfacing project on Brundidge Street by pouring curbs and starting on the sidewalk. Davis said he expects the first layer of asphalt between Blackmon and Center streets to be in place next week, if the weather holds up.

“To everyone, I know it’s been an inconvenience, but in the end we will have much more beautiful, safer streets,” Davis said. “Thank you for your patience.”

Davis said drivers should see stop bars near stop signs and center striping on the newly-resurfaced Elm and Park streets at the beginning of May after the asphalt cures.