Beach Boulevard Construction Causes Headaches for Drivers, Business Owners | Transportation

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Beach Boulevard Construction Causes Headaches for Drivers, Business Owners
Transportation
Beach Boulevard Construction Causes Headaches for Drivers, Business Owners

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Driving down Beach Boulevard is certainly no day at the beach for drivers.

"I hate it," said driver Mike Willoughby, "Beach Boulevard has always been overrun with construction."

People are dealing with construction woes between San Pablo and Hodges.

"It just seems to go on and on," said business owner Sue Pastorini.

Pastorini owns Curves on Beach Boulevard.  She said she'd have more customers if it weren't for the heavy trucks and construction barrels just outside her business.

"We're hanging on but it's really putting a roadblock in my goals," said Pastorini.

The $12.9 dollar project that will widen a 1.5-mile stretch of Beach Boulevard started in August 2009.  It is now 65 percent complete and will be complete in August or September.

"People, they're asking, when are the cones going to go away," said Mike Goldman, spokesman of the Florida Department of Transportation.

Goldman said they've received many complaints about how long the widening project is taking and the rough conditions of the road.

"And we're making every effort to fix those as we speak," said Goldman.

He said the project is on schedule and contractors are working diligently to get it done as fast as they can.  In the meantime, he urges a little more patience for business owners and drivers.

"It'll all be done by this summer and businesses will have the benefit of an improved roadway," said Goldman.

That means several more months of sharing the road with construction workers and their equipment.

"You have to do a lot of u-turns, and with the traffic it's almost impossible," said Willoughby.

Pastorini said it's good to know an end is in sight and looks forward to operating her business construction-free.
    
"Unfortunately, I'll believe it when I see it," said Pastorini.

The project is being paid for with federal stimulus funds.  The anticipated finish date was mid-July, but Goldman said they're estimating August or September to allow for any delays due to bad weather.

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