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Road construction hurting Spring Lake business

Posted July 13

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— Some business owners in Spring Lake say a 3-year road construction project is hurting their bottom line.

The project, which will eventually close Bragg Boulevard to the public at Butner Road, started in 2013 and is expected to be completed in December. But some businesses that depend on the traffic from Fort Bragg are not sure if they can make it through the end of the year.

"We probably lost the revenue by 20 to 30 percent," said Dev Rajababoo, who has owned and operated a Super 8 Motel in the area for eight years. He said the last three years have been tough, and he blames the construction.

Rajababoo says if a driver headed north of Bragg Boulevard wanted to get a room at his motel, they would have to take a series of left and right hand turns that would eventually take them over a bridge, around a traffic circle and into his parking lot.

"People from out of town, they don't know how to get in," he said. “They see us from there, but they just don't have any idea how to get in. Now they have even blocked my left turn in, so anyone coming from Fort Bragg trying to come into my property - the left is gone."

Richie Hines, a traffic engineer, says the traffic problems will start to get better soon.

"The new patterns are confusing. They are frustrating to be honest with you," he said. “What we have found though, is once people start driving it they get accustom to it. Often the improvements that we make are improvements, and they find that they get through the area more quickly."

According to Hines, about 56,000 vehicles pass through the area every day. He said he is anxious to get the project completed, and the business back on track.

"We do and we certainly hope that they are able to hold on and business picks back up if it has dropped," Hines said.

Rajababoo said that if he would have known the project was going to divert traffic and he was going to lose money, he may have done things different.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation said this phase of the project is on target to be completed by the end of the year.


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