Road construction at the intersection of North Main Street and Riverside Boulevard in Rockford is in full swing. The end result will benefit residents. However, the sea of orange cones and yellow construction caution tape surrounds the intersection. Most businesses in the area are feeling the effects.
“A lot of the customers are having a 10 minute wait just to get into our parking lot,” said Sevell Broadnax. “Sometimes, that slows them down from coming to get a haircut.”
Sevell Broadnax works at Crosscuts. Clients have been concerned since construction started.
“[They say], ‘aw man did you see the traffic? It’s hard to get over here!’ As soon as the customers walk through the door, that’s the first thing they say,” said Broadnax. He offers up alternative routes, to make sure customers come back.
Across the intersection at Habitat for Humanity’s “ReStore”, Volunteer Brianna Welch says, they struggle to get foot traffic flowing.
“Before we’d be busy on the weekends,” said Welch. “Now, we’re moving locations and everything is getting [put] [on] clearance, even for that, no one is stopping in here and it’s been really dead.”
Some drivers don’t need Broadnax’s suggestions for finding a different way to their favorite stores. The parking lot is busy, but a lot of that action is drivers trying to avoid the construction traffic jam.
“They’re rerouting themselves,” said Welch. “[It] ultimately takes longer and they cut through here too, and they don’t stop. So it’s no more business.”
Employees say there’s a feeling of helplessness. All they can really do is ride it out and hoping the rough road for them now, eventually gets smoother.
“There’s not much we can do but keep going forward,” said Welch.
The construction in that area is set to be completed by fall of this year.