November 9, 2012 (MACHESNEY PARK) -- Now that construction work is complete some business owners hope to make up for lost sales this holiday shopping season.
Construction on Route 251 and 173 in Machesney Park left the Store Manager at Red Mango Jenna King fed up.
"It just got really frustrating and then now that it's finally gone we're hoping we can recover because it really hurt our business," said King.
Her store took a hit during the construction months with a drop in sales and customers.
But Gregory Anderson, who is the Community Development Coordinator for the Village of Machesney Park argues, the road work was necessary because of the growing traffic problem.
"The two lanes were congesting. You couldn't move quickly through the corridor. As you tried to move through the corridor left turns were cumberson and awkward," said Anderson.
The project cost around $14 million dollars to complete. It added turn lanes and widen the roads.
The work is paying off for Robin Thomas, who is the Store Manager for Onxy Bar & Grill.
Thomas is starting to see less traffic congestions and more customer traffic.
"It's all over. People have been calling a lot, like it's finally over when can we get in? We have holiday parties we're booking now because of it. It's just the traffic is so much easier already," said Thomas.
But it's a different story back at Red Mango. Because they specialize in frozen yogurt, the Store Manager said, eating frozen yogurt doesn't sound too appealing in the winter months.
"We do this thing called, feet on the street. So we go to different companies and businesses around us. We give them coupons. Tell their workers about it. Try to get their friends to come in and tell their friends," said King.
And telling their friends is something Anderson hopes will spread the word to shoppers that Route 273 and 171 is open for business.
"People are coming back. They're realizing that it's opened for business. It always has been opened for business. All the way through construction, but the congestion is gone. The orange cones are gone. Barrels are gone. It's wide open," said Anderson.
The construction is over for now, but it's expected to pick back up in about 2 years to complete the project.