SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WNCN) — After nearly four years, road work is still underway along Bragg Boulevard in Spring Lake.
Spring Lake leaders say they believe the road construction will ultimately be a good thing for the area, but the town has lost a number of businesses because of the construction. Now they’re working to recover.
Slow moving traffic, confusion and construction barrels everywhere — that has been the scene along Bragg Boulevard near Honeycutt and the N.C. 210/87 split over the last four years.
“It’s a pain in the butt really,” said Spring Lake resident Campbell Johnson. “You’ve got to go all the way down past your elbows to get to your knees, when you can take a straight shot and be right there.”
The city manager says at least 12 businesses along this stretch have closed since construction began.
Those that remain are seeing a 30 to 40 percent drop in revenue.
A Verizon store will soon relocate as sales have drastically declined.
“We have been waiting forever when it first kicked off,” said Erik Brinkman, who owns The Morning Jump, a coffee shop. “It was going to be nine months. We were expecting to have it done before Christmas. It’s just dragged on as construction projects will do”
Up to 60,000 vehicles travel through this area daily.
The project is supposed to bring wider roads and a direct connection to Interstate 295, while also eliminating an access point into Fort Bragg that had been a security concern.
“At the end of the day, we should come out of it, based on the improvements from a safety standpoint and from a traffic ability standpoint,” said Spring Lake Town Manager Ted Davis.
The state Department of Transportation says damage from Hurricane Matthew and utility work delayed the process.
But, despite the chaos, and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in revenue, the city is making great strides.
A new Cookout restaurant opened weeks ago, and a Courtyard Marriot opened last year.
The road work is expected to be complete by next month. Landscaping will continue for a short while after that, officials said.