ROCHESTER (WWJ) – It’s the first morning of a big street closure through downtown Rochester. Main Street is closed through the business district for water main replacement and other improvements.
While detours have been clearly marked, traffic is already starting to back up. Commuters have been scrambling to find short cuts around the barrels and barricades, with cars zooming through alleys and parking lots.
Craig Furtowski, who works at Armada, said you really have to look both ways.
“There’s a lot of traffic trying to cross the street so you have to be careful of you’re going to get hit. It’s ridiculous,” said Furtowski.
Locally known as the “Main Street Makeover,” the project includes pavement and sidewalk replacement, and upgrades to traffic signals and utilities. All work on this $7.6 million investment is expected to be completed in mid November.
Millie Wallen and Peggy Gerwitz, who have been walking through downtown Rochester every morning for the past 28 years, say they understand the need for all this work, but they also acknowledge the closure will be tough on businesses.
“I think it’s going to be devastating for the merchants, it’s going to be really hard on them,” said Wallen.
“I’m actually going to try to shop more downtown. I’m gonna go, you know, the side ways and come down here because I feel sorry for them,” said Gerwitz.
Merchants speaking with WWJ’s Ron Dewey say the start-ups with high overhead will have a tough time, while others say they will promote themselves with coupons and social media to encourage customers through their doors.
One store owner said he doesn’t mind the extra traffic using his parking lot as a detour because he is “a team player.”
In order to accelerate construction, M-150 will be closed to traffic between 2nd Street and University Drive from mid-May to late August. Traffic will be detoured to local streets in each direction. Access to businesses along the corridor will be maintained via alleys on both sides of Rochester Road.
Find more information on the project at: www.downtownrochestermi.com
Credit: CBS Detroit