New Buffalo businesses weigh in on downtown construction
NEW BUFFALO —
The countdown is on for New Buffalo.
The city is expecting big crowds next weekend.
It's been about 8 months since construction started throughout downtown.
Business owners are eager to see the finished product.
First it was the sidewalk. Next Whittaker Street -- the main street downtown -- was under construction.
Business owners say even though most of the work took place during winter they still felt the impact.
In less than a week these new sidewalks in downtown New Buffalo will be filled with visitors.
But business owners are concerned their customers will be taking in the sounds of construction.
"You can obviously hear how loud it is so. You can imagine how loud it is in a restaurant,” said Elizabeth Ethridge.
Ethridge says the construction site has caused many issues for their business.
“Business has been down for us due to our street it’s completely gone. Previously before that it was we had no sidewalk. 8:02 Even though we have a parking lot out back people would see that our main street tore up so they wouldn't come here,” said Ethridge.
The construction crew says the cold winter caused many setbacks for the project.
But they'll be working around the clock to get things ready for Memorial Day.
Business owner Margaret Sullivan says the setbacks almost cost her business.
“I thought I was going to have to close honestly because I have to pay utilities and there was really no steady traffic coming in,” said Sullivan.
But despite the setbacks both businesses say they're excited to see the project come together.
“We've been holding our breath and biting our nails and waiting for this to manifest and there has been a lot of obstacles that were unpreventable. Very very difficult winter. So hopefully we will have a lovely summer,” said Sullivan.
“It's going to attract more people. It seems to be a great idea and that is what we are hoping for more people are going to come to New Buffalo to check out that everything is new,” said Ethridge.
Construction crew says they'll start paving Saturday.
By Tuesday they'll be adding landscaping and painting road lines.
If the weather holds out the construction crew believes they'll be done for Memorial Day weekend.