Business Owners Claim Rt. 13 Construction Keeping Customers Away - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Business Owners Claim Rt. 13 Construction Keeping Customers Away

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SALISBURY, Md. - Business owners along the southbound side of Route 13 in Salisbury say the ongoing construction project is hurting their bottom line.

Since May, crews have been working to replace the storm water drainage pipes along that section of Rt. 13.  Vinny Bellia is the owner of "Vinny's La Roma Italian Restaurant" and said the work going on right outside of his business is having a negative impact on the number of customers that come through the door.

"In the beginning it was ok, we tried to manage and they said it wasn't going to take that long.  But now it has been like two month, two and a half months, and the business has dropped at least 40%," said Bellia.

Bellia went on to say the crews and orange traffic cones end up blocking his driveway and customers end up unaware if the restaurant is even open because the parking lot is always so empty.

"Between the economy and the construction right now, I might as well close.  I mean, there is nothing here."

Officials from the State Highway Administration said the work on the southbound portion of Rt. 13 is expected to be complete by October 8th, but then in mid-October, work will begin on the northbound section.  Employees at the Delaware Tire Center just next door to "Vinny's La Roma" said they were also excited for the southbound work to wrap up.

"If they're not working on the road, we usually get more traffic in here  But when they're out there, the barriers are up and it keeps people from coming in," said John Jones, a salesman at the tire center.

SHA officials said they have been in contact with all of the businesses on that section of Rt. 13 in Salisbury and most of them are understanding and have not expressed any displeasure towards the project.  Officials also say the entire project is expected to be wrapped up by January at the latest.
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