A 5-night closure of Interstate 84 for construction in Waterbury may prove to be a headache for drivers, but a larger inconvenience for local businesses just off the highway.
For Sunday dinner on Mother’s Day, the owner of Sultan’s Turkish Restaurant, Tannel Aktas said business was in good shape, but Aktas told Eyewitness News that she fears once the construction begins just outside of her door in Waterbury, business will dwindle.
"On the weekends, it's OK, but during the week, it's tough because everybody thinks we are not operating, that we are not open,” said Aktas.
Aktas told Eyewitness News that once the construction gets underway, drivers will seek routes that inadvertently steer them away from her door.
"When they get off the exit, coming over the overpass, they can't see the building, therefore they can't see the parking lot, so they don't know that we are here anymore."
Construction on Interstate 84, although necessary, Aktas said business has been slower in the last 6 months.
"I'd say about 25-30 percent, which is really big for my restaurant,” said Aktas. “We just keep trying to tell our patrons that we are still here, we are not going anywhere, we're still open 7 days a week, we still have our normal business hours and that's all we can do."
The construction will close the highway each night from exit 25 westbound and eastbound beginning on Sunday, May 14th and continuing through to Thursday, May 18th, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Detours have been put in place to ease the flow of traffic. On the eastbound side, drivers will detour off via exit 25, then take Reidville Rd., then reenter the highway via the eastbound exit 25 on-ramp at Scott Rd.
On the westbound side, drivers will detour off the highway at exit 25, continue straight onto Plank Rd. and reenter the highway via the exit 25 on-ramp.
But Aktas said she remains positive, “only time will tell, we'll see how it is when it's all done and the construction's all finished."
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