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Road project affecting local businesses

Posted at 10:55 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 22:55:23-05

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing business owners spoke out at the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) open forum about the Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard project in Lansing on Wednesday night--they say the road project has drove customers away.

"I mean we're having enough (of a) tough time trying to attract talent here in south Lansing and this project, it devastated businesses here," Jeremy Garza, a council member, said.

Business owners and community leaders were not shy about criticizing construction delays on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.

"But those businesses on the east side of the street, they were impacted like you couldn't possibly imagine because things just sat," Adam Hussain, a council member, said.

"It just lasted too long. We are so grateful that it's done because it needed to be done, but the affect that it had on just completely closing off businesses for months, its not acceptable," Lynnette Wilkes, Munchies owner, said.

MDOT engineers said the ball was dropped on the project that was scheduled to be done by now. Bad weather and a lack of man power slowed workers down in their goal to repave five lanes along the corridor.

"We we talk to the contractor, we will continue to work on schedule, continue to work on the commitment to resources and continue to work with them on the access to businesses so that they know what the priorities are of the community," Gregory Losch, MDOT Lansing Transportation Service Center manager, said.

Crews will be back pounding the pavement in April to complete phase three of the project and business owners said they hope their bottom line won't take another hit when workers do return.

The project is expected to be finished by May of next year.

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