Owners say Grant Avenue construction project hurting their businesses

2013-05-21T03:30:00Z 2013-06-07T14:49:15Z Owners say Grant Avenue construction project hurting their businessesRobert Harding The Citizen Auburn Citizen
May 21, 2013 3:30 am  • 

AUBURN | At a meeting Monday organized by state Assemblyman Gary Finch, a few small business owners shared frustrations with state officials over the ongoing road construction project on Grant Avenue. 

Crews are resurfacing Grant Avenue from the intersection at Seymour Street to slightly north of Mutton Hill Road in the town of Sennett. While business owners and local leaders say the project is necessary, they questioned why there wasn't more communication about the project ahead of time and its impact on traffic patterns. 

Tony Briseno Jr., whose family owns Cameron's Bakery on Grant Avenue, said his business is losing money because of the construction. He said with blocked driveways and shifting traffic patterns, customers have had to take detours to get to the bakery. 

Briseno also questioned why contractors are working on the project during the day instead of at night, when there is less traffic.

Carl Ford, regional director of the state Department of Transportation, said cost and worker safety are reasons why the agency prefers daytime projects.

"In the past, we often did nighttime construction," he said. "But nighttime construction is not as safe, both for the workers and the traveling public."

But the main concern was the lack of communication before the project started. The state DOT's public information officer, Gene Cilento, said he found out about the project one day after it commenced. Cilento distributed a news release at Monday's meeting that was originally sent out on May 1. 

Auburn City Councilor John Camardo urged the state DOT to improve communication with local governments and businesses for future road projects.

"Good communication has to be out there," he said. "Communication goes a long way."

The $1.96 million Grant Avenue project is about 70 percent complete, according to the state DOT. The project is divided into four parts and crews are wrapping work on the third section this week. DOT officials say the project will be completed in the next three to four weeks, weather permitting.

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding

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(5) Comments

  1. movedsouth
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    movedsouth - May 21, 2013 3:04 pm
    " adequate means of travel" It would be interesting to see what that meant. Night time more expensive plus setup time. CONGESTION in a work zone area? Minimal for construction vehicles.
  2. CNYTower2500
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    CNYTower2500 - May 21, 2013 2:22 pm
    I think that it's sad that the construction crews on the New York State Thruway can pave and/or repair a roadway with little to no congestion. If the Company whom took the job was incapable of providing an adequate means of travel for motorists they should have walked away or shut down grant ave completely... My question is.. why wouldn't they work through the night rather than during the day.. they would get so much more accomplished without having the traffic congestion... Just a thought...
  3. CnY1234
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    CnY1234 - May 20, 2013 9:21 pm
  4. CnY1234
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    CnY1234 - May 20, 2013 9:18 pm
    I feel for the business on York Street too. I travel down York Street every day. You can't really say Grant Ave. is nothing considering their is several more business's and more traffic flow than York Street. If the people on York Street have a concern they should contact some one and voice their opinion.
  5. Fingerlakes13021
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    Fingerlakes13021 - May 20, 2013 7:04 pm
    Boo hoo !!! How about the business on York St , They been dealing with this alot longer. All last summer and fall and this year since March of this month. Grant Ave is nothing !!!!!! Quite your whining.
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