Highway construction closes Spring Lake business

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Several businesses in the Spring Lake area have been forced to close because of construction on nearby roadways. (WTVD)

Several businesses in the Spring Lake area have been forced to close because of construction on nearby roadways.

Business owners said construction along Highway 87 and Highway 24 has been killing their business for months, and they believe more stores could soon be moving out.

Andrew Early, the owner of Bayou Seafood, said they handpicked their location because of the traffic in the area, but lately, that's been their biggest downfall.

He said posted signs telling drivers where to go wasn't enough to keep their business alive.

Early thought he struck gold when he opened Bayou Seafood.

"60 (thousand) to 80,000 cars come through this intersection, so we thought if we can get at least one percent of that we'd do great," he said.

But the Spring Lake, seafood favorite closed down in April after the construction along Highways 87 and 24 became an obstruction.

"There are some days where it would take you 20 to 30 minutes to get from the Honeycutt Gate on Bragg to this light," he said. "No one has 20 to 30 minutes to sit in traffic."

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Early said they are exploring other options such as food trucks or catering just to bring their business back to life.

Officials said the expansion project along 87 was designed to ease the traffic flow to Fort Bragg, but that project added a sidewalk over the entrances to businesses, detouring drivers and taking nearly $18,000 a month from the beloved seafood restaurant.

"Not being able to launch this and see its full potential is devastating," Early said.

According to the town of Spring Lake, nearby businesses have reported a 30 percent drops in revenue.

Skyland Florist, which is next door to Bayou Seafood, has been in business for over 40 years.

While they've managed to stay afloat they said "it's business as usual," with the noise from the construction attempting to wilt their success.

"It doesn't sound that loud but inside our vases tremble," one employee said. "Many tremble off the shelf and break."

The Verizon Wireless store in that area is also considering a move or closing down. They tell ABC11 that their customers often call ahead for directions in order to access their business.

Construction is set to be completed next month, but in the meantime, businesses on the highway are biting their nails in anticipation.

Remaining neighbors said they hate to see them go.

"Whenever one of our neighbors close down it's less foot traffic, less visibility for our business," a Skyland Florist employee said. "And we'd like to see them open and see them thrive."

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