When Lori Miarechki bought second place for her bed and breakfast in Woodstock, she didn’t expect road construction to affect her business so much.
Now, with the second location of the Cherry Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast, at 220 E. South St., located right next to the workplace for the South-Lake-Madison roundabout, the view has become “inconspicuous” and guests have difficulty reaching the driveway. which led several to cancel their plans.
“This slows down our ability to be completely open,” Miarechki said. “We will definitely make a lot less money [at the location] this year.”
Road construction is in full swing in Woodstock and may remain so for some time. Due to the planned construction, some companies in the area are expressing concerns about their ability to attract customers.
Woodstock’s summer construction season is expected to be busy, with a nearly $ 13 million road program hitting more than 20 roads.
The construction of a new roundabout in the center of the five-way intersection of South Street, Lake Avenue and Madison Street is underway, work on which may continue until the end of the year.
In addition to the plans, a project to expand Route 47 in the city could take place immediately after the autumn of 2023 and may take several years to complete. Combined with normal construction, some companies are worried that this year’s problems are just the beginning.
Read Between the Lynes Owner Arlene Lynes was vocal about construction concerns, asking a meeting of the Woodstock City Council in May for the city to work with businesses through difficulties.
Lins said Monday that he believes road construction is “very necessary” and appreciates the city, which is improving the community.
She also noted the city’s commitment to helping businesses work and communicate with them throughout the process.
“We as a business community will persevere through this, as well as the other challenges we face,” she said.
To anticipate any potential disruption, the city is working to notify businesses before construction, said Woodstock Director of Economic Development Gareth Anderson. Although some companies have lost traffic, access still remains.
“There will always be an impact on business when there is construction,” he said. “There is nothing to completely mitigate this.”
Mayor Michael Turner said Monday that the city will do what it can and work with businesses to minimize the effects of construction. He also said that part of the work done this year has become more important because of the future work of Route 47, which will bring similar challenges “on a larger scale”, he said.
The city’s role in supporting it comes down to announcing the construction schedule, Turner said. Promoting business is something they can also help with.
Completing the roundabout before the holiday shopping season was also something Turner insisted on. The work is expected to be completed in early December, he said.
“I am adamant in my direction to the staff that the contractor and the city are doing their best to finish by Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” Turner said.
Anderson said the Illinois Department of Transportation, which is implementing the Route 47 project, will not completely block access to any business during construction.
Two Woodstock fire and rescue stations are also close to current or future construction sites, but this has not led to problems with removing equipment from the stations or any “significant delays” in response time, said Deputy Chief Brendan Parker.
“Our boys know how to move around it,” he said. “And if there’s anything important, we can call the next nearest station to answer.”
However, business is slowing down for some.
Miarecki of Cherry Tree said they are currently considering closing the place as a bed and breakfast and potentially offer it as a full-time rental instead. Construction is currently underway on weekdays, and as a result, the site has been closed during that time, significantly limiting their business, she said.
“Right now there is a huge mass dump truck in front of the house, full of gravel,” she said. “Weekdays are good for guests to relax and we can’t open on weekdays when there are huge trucks and [machines] on the road.”
Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Ball said it was important to promote Woodstock businesses and support them during construction.
“Everyone is open,” Ball said.