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Businesses say construction is driving customers away

Posted at 7:42 AM, Aug 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 09:07:38-04

Two Lansing businesses say they were blind-sided by a major construction project and it's putting a dent in their bottom line.

FOX 47 News' Cryss Walker spent the day talking with small business owners on Mt. Hope Avenue, who say the confusing road closures are causing them to lose customers.

“I wish that there was an easier way for you guys to get here, but if you guys want to reschedule your appointments give me a call”, said Jose Flores, who owns a barbershop that he says is now struggling.

“Soon as they started ripping up the road, nobody is even coming down the road, nobody is coming in here”, that’s what Justin Garcia told News 10 about the construction project on the 1400 block of Mt. Hope.

Employees from both Mancino’s Pizza and Grinders as well as J. Bruno’s Hair Studio claim the City of Lansing failed to give a proper notice about the project that's blocking the main road to their businesses.

“They could have warned us way better”, Flores said.

“They could have signs up at the front of this road detouring people letting people know that the businesses are still open. They didn't.”

Garcia works at Mancino’s and he says they were not notified about the plans in a timely manner.

“They didn't give us much information at all”, Garcia explained.

“They just said three months, we don't know if that means the whole road, whole project or what exactly they're doing. Just they said three months until November.”

The city of Lansing's Public Works Department denies that claim.

They say businesses were told about the project last year.

“With all the property owners effected by this project, we've had two public meetings where we mailed them and allowed them the opportunity to meet and come in and talk with us and find out more information”, said Public Service Director Andy Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick told Cryss Walker that the city will put up signs to direct traffic to the businesses on Friday.

“We are adding some signs to direct folks to these businesses in case they're confused by the construction”, Kilpatrick continued.

The City of Lansing tells News 10 the construction is part of the Combined Sewer Overflow Project (CSO), where crews are working to rebuild sewer lines throughout the city.