Local News

Construction At Avondale Road In Durham To Disrupt Local Businesses

Posted July 15, 2003 12:53 p.m. EDT

— Construction crews started changing the landscape along Interstate 85 in Durham in 1999. Road closings, lane shifts and jersey barriers have been a huge headache. But another pain is just ahead.

The Department of Transportation will shut down a portion of Avondale Drive for six months starting Tuesday night -- and lock out business to at least one local shop.

The key to good business is easy customer access. They had it for four generations at Woods Lock Shop. But the next phase of the I-85 construction project will end that.

"We'll just have to go with the flow," said owner Larry Woods. "I"m not real happy about it. But what can you do? We're sort of at the mercy of the construction crews."

A small piece of road at Avondale Drive and Foushee Street will pose a big problem for many businesses. Avondale will be shut down all the way back to I-85, diverting a lot of traffic.

"The tax dollar is going to something so somebody can enjoy life," business owner Samuel Jenkins said. "But it is not making my life any more pleasant."

Jenkins owns Studio 2000, a hair salon that also will be blocked by the Avondale Road shutdown. A winding detour route will get customers in, but he is afraid that most won't want to hassle with it.

So what can he do about it?

"Nothing," he said. "I mean, I wish it was someone you could call, someone you could see. But you know, with a small business, you only have a small voice."