West Fargo road construction causes drop in customers for local businesses

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WEST FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) The City of West Fargo says the construction project on 13th Avenue and 9th Street East is partially complete, but businesses surrounding the intersection say the construction has caused a drop in customers.

“It would be a lot better for the construction outside if there was just a lot better access coming in,” said Jeff Davis, the bar manager at Maxwells Restaurant and Bar. “It’s been a lot slower than normal, you know this is supposed to be our busy time of the season,” explained Jeff, “just as servers, bar tenders, even the business itself… it’s kind of just a struggle, you know?”

And businesses that rely on delivery worry that the limited access could slow down their timing. “When football starts rolling and really picking up, it’ll be really annoying when we’re taking 100 pie hours,” said Brock Steffenson, a delivery driver at Dominos. He said that the number of customers picking up their orders has dropped, and the construction has added at least five to ten minutes to their delivery time.

But restaurants aren’t the only one’s feeling the drop in customers. Brock Zavaleny, a cashier at EXXON, said during the first week of construction, they saw business drop by half. “I worked a few grave yard shifts and I went from 150 customers a night to 20 a night,” he explained. To draw customers in, the stations owner is offering customers that fill up their tanks with gas a free fountain drink or a free coffee.

A few of the businesses, like hair salons, say they haven’t seen much of a drop in customers, though. Lillian Morel from GreatClips said that customers were still finding a way in for their scheduled appointments, but those customers did complain that the plaza was difficult enter. Morel says one customer even asked why the business, and the surrounding businesses, let the construction start.

Most of the employees for businesses around 13th Avenue and 9th Street East have also been rerouted through the surrounding neighborhoods to get to their place of work. While these secondary routes are useful, they’ve now traffic traps.

The overall consensus still came down to the drop in overall customer activity. Maxwells began posting directions on their social media pages to help customers find their way in, and Dominos began sending their drivers down different routes to deliver pizzas. Everyone VNL talked to said while they will be thankful for the improved streets, they’ll mostly be thankful to see the end of the construction confusion.