Blanco Road construction affecting small business owners

$12.7 million project will upgrade traffic signals, replace water, sewer, and gas mains

Michael Vidal is worried he may be forced to shut down his auto repair shop. 

That's because road construction on Blanco Road has made it close to impossible for customers to get to him.

"Five customers’ cars a day, now down to zero," said Vidal, who owns Top Notch Suspension.

Road construction is on roughly 12 blocks of  Blanco Road, running from San Francisco to Fresno. 

Orange barrels paring down some sections to just one lane have caused many drivers to just avoid Blanco altogether.  

Monte Martinez, owner of Paws and Claws, says business is down 75 percent.

“This business is new. People trying to find it get detoured. It's very difficult," said Martinez.

The project’s goal is to widen Blanco with an underground storm drainage system, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, and left-turn lanes at major intersections.

The project will also include upgrading the traffic signals, and replacing water, sewer, and gas mains.

Vidal said he hopes his business will make it to the project's end date of September 2014.

“I have a lot of passion for what I do and it's something I'm going to sacrifice (for) to endure," he said. "I'm hoping I can weather the storm."

The estimated cost of the project is $12.7 million. 

Some business owners have asked city council for a tax abatement for the affected landlords of businesses on Blanco.  That’s so business owners can possibly get a lower rent while construction continues on Blanco.

For a list of recent stories Mariza Mendoza has done, click here.


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