Road construction project frustrating New Haven business owners, Mayor
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Since may of last year, depending on “When”... Sections of Landin Rd. in New Haven have been closed.
Right now, a bridge is under construction and drivers can only go south into town.
Some New Haven residents and business owners say they’re frustrated with the progress, or lack of, including the owner of Lash Auto Service, Larry Lash.
“We’ve seen a definite reduction in in clientele coming through,” Lash said. “It is tougher to get them in so we’ve made special arrangements to get them here at different times get around the traffic between the tracks and the construction.”
The co-owner of Ravenswolf Emporium, Nicole Moore, says if the construction project doesn’t wrap quickly, her business might have to close for good.
“We’re losing hundreds a week. I mean we were never in thousands yet to begin with because we’re still new, but if things don’t pick up it’s not looking good I mean several businesses have closed already.”
We wanted to talk with New Haven’s Mayor, Steve McMichael, R, for some answers.
He says it’s a complicated project, one that involves the city, county, state, Indiana DNR, Army Corps of Engineers because of the river, and Norfolk Southern because of the train tracks.
“It’s not just a normal public works project this is a massive public works project that was the complete removal of a road and rebuilding, including retaining walls to hold the road in place because that is all floodplain and fill along there”
Business owners who talked with ABC21 say communication about deadlines and changes has been poor.
Lash says, “Communication is the biggest thing period with trying to get information. Dates are given they come and go, and things aren’t done as we’re told they’re going to happen.”
“The way I find out everything, the way we all find out everything at least, is Facebook. You just happen to see it on the New Haven Facebook page if you check it periodically.”
McMichael says city workers set up quarterly meetings and have gone door to door to talk with business owners about updates., but says “If we miss somebody I do apologize for that I suppose that’s possible, but I can tell you we have certainly tried to make an effort but maybe we can always do better right?”
While most business owners say they understand the problems, it hasn’t made it any easier.
“It just seems to be what I’ve seen what kind of poor communication all the way from the top to the bottom,” Lash says
If you have any questions about the project, McMichael invites you to reach out to his office with any questions. Call 260-748-7079 or email email@example.com.
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