Roadwork drags on, isolating Willamette Street businesses

Roadwork drags on, isolating Willamette Street businesses

EUGENE, Ore. - Businesses along Willamette Street near the Capstone Collegiate Communities 13th & Olive project say roadwork on Willamette Street is costing them business.

The sidewalks and road remain torn up on the east side of the street, making access to a row of shops difficult.

Worse still: The construction site just outside their front doors is empty.

There are no loud jack hammers, just equipment collecting dust.

"That is normal," said Amy Clancy at Nest. "I check on that pit quite often, and I rarely see activity."

The owners of busineses on this stretch of Willamette expected the road and sidewalk construction project to take a month.

That month has come and gone, and the site looks far from complete.

"It's definitely disheartening to see such slow progress and so few people working on it," Clancy said. 

The lack of traffic has hurt business.

"The first maybe month of construction people just kind of fight their way through it," said Lou Sangermano at Mom's Pies. "Now maybe people are just going to start new habbits and avoid the area altogether."

"We just have to be creative with our lifestyle so we can stay in a tiny budget to keep our doors open," she said.

The moment the construction began, Clancy saw a 50 percent drop in sales.

Now they're at an all-time low.

Just feet away, there's Shannon Bishop, a hairdresser.

She said in a month, she's only had two walk-ins.

A spokesperson with Capstone said it's a complex project. Crews hit old trolly ties under the road, which has slowed the process down while workers removed and preserved the rails.

He said crews should be back on the site by Tuesday.