Road paving project hurting Clinton businesses

CLINTON, Conn. (WTNH)– Business owners in downtown Clinton say a paving project scheduled for Friday is hurting their bottom line.

The barriers and some of the machinery are ready to be put in place on Post Office Square but Donna Faulknor, who owns Encore just a few doors down on East Main Street, says the road construction comes at a very bad time. Faulknor tells News8, “our population doubles from June first to September first.”

Mike Nuzzo, who owns Grand Apizza, sees the road construction as a road block on what is usually his busiest day of the week. He says, “all the people that come from the marina say they won’t come down because of the traffic.”

The project has been postponed a few times and Faulknor says that has hurt other businesses which work by appointment only. “They actually closed their business for these days that the town was saying they were going to pave and then they come to work the next day and they find out it hasn’t been done”, says Faulknor.

A sign outside The Happy Lung reads “Opening This Week [Hopefully!! Pending Road Work].” Eric Choma who tells News8 he’s had to postpone opening day at his e-cigarette shop because of the construction says, “Friday would be great because then we could be open for the weekend.”

News 8 contacted first selectman William Fritz, Jr. who understands the concerns and says “… we will do our best to minimize the inconvenience.”

To that Donna Faulknor says, “they do plenty of paving in the spring and in the fall why couldn’t they have scheduled the shoreline for those times?”

News 8 asked Fritz that question too. “We had to wait for the state to approve the project which delayed it. Then they told us we had to be done before they began paving,” he said. The state is set to start paving Route 1 August 4th.

“We’re all just small businesses mom and pops trying to just stay and do our thing,” said Faulknor.

While she would like the town to postpone its work until the fall, she understands the state will have to start paving next month. But she’s hoping most of that work will be done at night.

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