Local businesses say ongoing construction affects customer base

A slow-moving western county transportation project is causing headaches for some business owners.

We interviewed a restaurant owner who said PennDOT needs to move faster because time is money.

Two years into the rebuilding project along I-90, drivers and businesses in the area continue to struggle with road repairs.

The I-90 Interstate Program is a three-year program from the 3.5 mile mark to the 10.5 mile mark. The eastbound lanes, bridges and interchanges of Line 18 are all being repaired during the project.

The owner and general manager of a restaurant in the area told us he has noticed a difference in his customers since the redevelopment.

“Obviously, with the bridge closed, things have slowed down and we’re not getting customers from Ohio or Erie, or even local towns like Girard and Lake City. So there’s been a impact,” said Sean Tuznik, owner and general manager of Madeline’s Dining and Events.

Tuznik told CNN of other residents that emergency workers were also affected by the construction.

“I know there are some locals here like ambulance routes, fire trucks, everything else has to be handled by different departments or their routes take longer to respond to things on I-90” Tuznick Say.

PennDOT press officer Jill Harry told us that there are some detours that help traffic continue to flow, but it has also caused some complications.

“We’ve seen what you would normally imagine to happen in that situation, because of accidents and other things, there’s a bit of bundling from time to time, but overall the traffic has been flowing through the area very smoothly,” PennDOT Northwest District Information Officer Jill Harry said.

Harry said it was up to motorists in the area to pay more attention to avoid accidents. Tuznick said he hopes more can be done to make things better.

“I’m hoping there’s a better way to deal with it, find a closer alternative route, offset another road, or something like that,” Tuznick said.

Click here for the latest information on construction projects along I-90.

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