Construction Impacts Murphysboro Businesses

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By Matthew Searcy

MURPHYSBORO -- Jackson County drivers can expect traffic delays through downtown Murphysboro for the next couple of days. 

Crews are putting the finishing touches on a project to replace waterlines downtown, but as road work continues, local businesses pay the price.  
 
"When they first did the waterlines they parked a block and a half or two blocks down the street," said business owner George McNeal. "Businesses like this, a lot of customers want to get in and get out because they stop on their lunch break or on their way home." 
 
McNeal owns George's Resale and says curbside parking hasn't been an option for customers for parts of the summer.  
 
"We lost three days when they put the concrete down and before that we lost almost two weeks," explained McNeal.  
 
The result has been a negative impact on business.  
 
"It was horrible but it has to be done," said McNeal. "Sales were probably down thirty percent of what they usually are." 
 
Engineer Doug Helfrich says the city hired IDOT to complete the project. On Monday, more than two dozen workers helped repave the affected lanes while flaggers directed thru traffic.   
     
"It's a city project," said Helfrich. "IDOT gave the city a permit to replace a waterline under Walnut street."  
 
With the lines now replaced, Helfrich says contractors still need to finishing repaving and making the roads accessible to the public.  
 
"The waterline has been replaced the only thing left is the contractors milling out the surface today and pave on Wednesday," explained Helfrich.  
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