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Antique Dealers Hope For Big Business With Highway 64 Expansion

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CHATHAM COUNTY — The expansion of U.S. Highway 64 may offer a smooth ride for commuters, but it could also put the brakes on business in the area.

The last leg of a massive road project opened up Saturday in Chatham County. In downtown Pittsboro, antique shoppers are making their last-minute deals.

The four lanes of freshly-paved highway made antique shopper Andy Penry's trip from Wake County smooth and quick.

"The old road was a windy, two-lane road with a lot of school bus traffic on it," Penry said. "With the four lane road, it's a lot easier to get from Cary and Apex to Pittsboro."

Tom Edwards, an antique dealer in Pittsboro, says the new roadway could lead to better business for the dealers, who turned this small town into an antique hunter's haven.

"We think it will make shopping more pleasant for those people who come, and choose us as a destination because they will, hopefully, have less traffic to deal with," Edwards said.

Just over the horizon, more construction is under way.

Crews are building a bypass on Highway 64 which could detour traffic away from the square downtown.

"There is a possibility that we may see a reduction in our first-time shoppers who come through," Edwards said. "There are 10 antique stores in Pittsboro and a lot of times, they will come through on Highway 64."

"They will see one shop, stop and that's how they find out about another shops, and come back."

However, antique dealers will not have to worry about that right now. The bypass will not be finished until sometime next year.

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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