Riviera Beach road construction causing concerns

FDOT orders signs, hopes to calm nerves

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Construction on Federal Highway in Riviera Beach is causing more than just congestion these days.

The 1.3 mile stretch of Broadway is getting a $12.8 million renovation, designed to improve the look and feel of the roadway.

But the construction boom has some businesses in Riviera Beach noticing a drop in sales.

"Everybody makes a comment, 'how is the business doing with the construction?"' said V irginia Merchant, who owns a tourist shop along Broadway.

Merchant recently re-painted her shop to attract customers,  which is tough to do, she says, in the middle of a construction zone. No hard numbers yet, but Merchant says profits are definitely lower than last year.
   
"People are going bumper to bumper, when they turn, they have to go all the way around, come back here," explained Nora Mahoney, owner of Dee's T-Shirts.
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Mahoney is not only discouraged by the construction, but says she's not satisfied with the project's goals, claiming on-street parking should be a priority.

"We have handicapped, senior citizens, they have to park all the way down there, to park and they have to come slowly."

Resurfacing, milling, drainage work and sidewalk improvements are on the project's to-do list, set for completion in the winter of 2014.

Meredith Cruz, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation said, "the project team understands the concerns of the business owners along the construction corridor, and have met with many of them to discuss their individual needs. An additional 100 signs have been ordered to notify motorists of the business locations during the construction phases and new roadway configurations."

She added, "the additional signs are expected to be installed in the next few weeks. The project team is always available at any time to meet with business owners, residents, motorists, and city officials to continue to minimize the impact on the community."

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