Water line break hurting businesses?

August 20, 2010 4:51:39 AM PDT
A water line break that flooded Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh Wednesday afternoon could end up delaying a road construction project that's been impacting local businesses for weeks.Rook Kim says he was inside his family's dry cleaners when a heavy stream rushed past his storefront.

"I noticed they were releasing the fire hydrant," Kim said.

DOT officials say crews were breaking up concrete when the vibrations cracked a two inch line.

The amount of leaked water is unknown, but it was enough to halt traffic adding another blow to businesses crippled by the construction.

"Our customers are pretty loyal, they come and drive around here, but everyone else is hit pretty hard, like the restaurants on the Glenwood," Kim said.

"We've definitely taken a hit," Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery's owner Frank Ballard said. "I'd say we're probably down 20, 25 percent right now."

Ballard says the project hasn't hurt his dinner crowd as much as his lunch hour, but the damage is bad enough to prompt nearby business owners to bond together during a tough time.

"We had a meeting yesterday with all of the shop owners and it's very frustrating," Ballard said. "We thought it would be done a couple of months ago."

The DOT originally planned to finish the repaving by mid-June, but a series of setbacks have pushed the date to mid-September. And with Wednesday's flooding, it could add another day or two.

"It has been a very challenging project and we're hoping to minimize the amount of time that we're here, and every time we have an obstacle to jump through it does make us want to hope that everything gets better real quick," DOT Resident Engineer Jeff Allen said.

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