MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - More than two weeks have passed since construction began work on a roundabout at the crossroads of NC 51 and Idlewild Road. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) says the goal of the roundabout is to make a safer, more efficient intersection.
The construction in Mint Hill is well underway, which is very evident to people who live and work in the neighborhood. Business owners near the intersection say they are facing real issues with a loss of income during the construction.
Phil Randazzo, the owner of Pizza Spiga, was hopeful before construction started that his business wouldn't feel the impact. Unfortunately, the outcome is not one he had expected.
"Now we have seen the results, and it is a lot worse than we anticipated," Randazzo said. "Every day of the week we are dropping $200, $400, sometimes $500. That is not something that we can keep up."
Randazzo says he has seen an increase in car traffic for the past two weeks, but a decrease in foot traffic at his restaurant. He attributes this to people wanting to stay away from the area to avoid congestion and often-confusing detours through parking lots.
"People are more hesitant to walk through this parking lot," said Hyun Kim, a manager at Osaka Sushi Bar. The restaurant is just doors down from Randazzo's.
Kim explains they've also taken a hit during this construction period.
"Number-wise, we have taken a hit of probably 20 to 35% as far as income goes," Kim said.
Kim says he hopes the restaurant won't have to decrease employees hours but, "that is something that [they] may have to consider."
For Randazzo however, hours have already been cut.
"I take the biggest pay cut of them all," the restaurant owner said, "that is the only reason I am going to be able to make it. When things get tough, the owner does not get paid."
The traffic and confusion may only get worse. Wednesday morning a cut-through on Hoods Village Drive was closed for a pipe repair, causing many motorists to have to extend their detours even further.
Hoods Village Drive will be closed for at least two days and should be back open by the weekend. Police are warning drivers to obey speed limits when cutting through these parking lots.
The NCDOT says construction is still on schedule to end on August 18.