By Erin Smith
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
East Lansing—The construction on Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue is not only annoying to drivers but it is also hurting the businesses that line the roads.
Greg Losch, construction engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation, or MDOT said the state is working on sidewalk upgrades to meet current Americans with Disabilities requirements. The entire project is slated to end in October.
At the BP Gas Station, 504 Michigan Ave., October will be too late to compensate the losses, said clerk Katie Kanouse.
“It’s a pain in the butt,” the Lansing resident said. “We plan on closing the store soon, but we want as much business and profit before that.
“The construction is killing our business.”
“It’s gonna be even worse in the summer,” she said. “After students leave it’s going to be dead. … Today we are usually pretty busy and it has been dead all day.”
Vanessa Burnette, shift leader at Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 233 E. Grand River Ave., said the construction is a real inconvenience to her business since there’s always stopped cars in front of PotBelly.
“It slows down the delivery time,” Burnette said. “It’s annoying. It makes me not want to take Grand River anywhere because it takes double the time to get anywhere.”
Burnette said there are no specials to get people to come out to PotBelly.
Losch said MDOT has been making every effort to allow access to businesses along Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue, but at the same time he believes it cannot do road improvements without affecting businesses in some way.
“I hope at the end of the project the better roads will encourage better business,” Losch said.