MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – A construction project along Red Road between SW 17th Street and Coral Way in unincorporated Miami-Dade is causing a headache for both drivers ad business owners.
“I think you need an old pirate or old marine out here cracking the whip, sayin’ “C’mon, we’ve gotta move this stuff here and get it going’”, Wayne Russell said while cracking a smile. He is trying to keep a sense of humor amidst what’s become a very frustrating situation.
Russell owns Duffy’s Tavern, where he says a minor construction project has delivered a major blow to his bottom line. “Fifty percent we are down right now because people only have so much time to eat and go.”
“I’m living week by week you know,” said Jesus Ortiz, who owns the 24th Street Barbershop a few doors down from Duffy’s Tavern. Although electronic signs and traditional blue signs with businesses’ names on them have been posted along the construction area, business owners say it’s not helping much and wonder whether the constrution project will be worth the headache in the long run.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the $3.8 million project will add new a drainage system, new sidewalks and bicycle lanes, decorative lighting as well as wider turn lanes and enhanced landscaping. “I mean it’ll make the business look better, but what about us?” asked Ortiz.
His concern is whether he’ll still be in business by the time the project is complete. For drivers, the project means they cannot turn on to Red Road from Coral Way, and if they are traveling northbound on Red Road, they have to turn left or right once they get to Coral Way. “Sometimes, especially around the rush hour times its difficult to be here,” said Mitch Sierro.
Sierro has been getting his haircut at the 24th Street Barbershop for years. “I’m trying to stay loyal.” But, other customers aren’t as patient. “I’ll go somewhere else, sorry,” said Customer Pete Valiente.
According to FDOT, the project will be complete by the summer of 2013.