BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
A month into the West Road construction project, businesses and motorists are adjusting to life in the slow lane without too much complaint.
The $3.4 million project, expected to last through November, has traffic down to one lane in each direction from Fort Street to Allen Road as Wayne County oversees road resurfacing and the improvement of sidewalk ramps, bridges and guardrails along the three-mile stretch of road.
“I think people are dealing with the inconvenience,” said Mayor Kyle Stack. “We haven’t had a lot of complaints from residents because I think they know how much the work had to be done.”
As the Trenton Trib went to press, the two middle lanes were open and crews were beginning to lay asphalt on the outer lanes. Although business owners know work will stretch for several more months, seeing progress each day keeps them optimistic.
As Hal Ackershoek of Olds’ Flowers anticipated, activity outside his shop varies from day to day, but he was happy to report that on May 5, in the early weeks of the project, he and neighboring hair salons took care of dozens of corsage orders and up-do’s without a hitch for Trenton High School promgoers.
Across the street at Keck Hardware, owner Tom Klaus said the construction may be dampening business somewhat, but people aren’t avoiding the shopping district.
“Keck is a destination business,” he said. “If people need something they know we carry, they are going to find a way to get to us.”
He and Ackershoek said the alley access behind West Road businesses has eased the burden of patrons getting to the stores, and customers don’t mind parking on side streets for the time being. Many are still angle-parking in front of the businesses.
Zanglin Realty, located at the corner of Edsel and West roads, has a parking lot, which owner Jim Zanglin has offered shoppers to get closer to businesses they want to visit.
“Most of our business with clients is by phone or meeting off site, so people can use our lot if they like,” he said.
Further west, THS principal Michael Doyle said that while traffic is slower, they aren’t feeling much of an impact on the south side of campus.
“There have been no student accidents; they use the lot on Charlton and we have a closed lunch so they aren’t leaving campus,” said Doyle. “Staff use the lot on West Road, and I just take the route a little slower.”