BRENTWOOD -- While work continues to upgrade Brentwood Boulevard, longtime merchants on the northern edge of the city are saying that the construction is hindering their sales and causing major traffic jams.
To make the portion of Brentwood Boulevard between Homecoming Way and Lone Tree Way mirror the city's other major arterial roadways, crews are adding a new median and landscaping it with shrubs and trees. City leaders say that this roadway improvement will help the corridor to attract more businesses and consumers.
"A non-potable water line has been installed to irrigate the new landscape material with recycled water," said Brentwood Traffic Engineering Manager Steve Kersevan.
But business owners in the area say that the traffic delays and lack of parking near their businesses has led to potential safety issues and a major hit in sales. Horsetown Tack owner Kelly Mykrantz said that some businesses have experienced a 30 or 40 percent loss in sales since the construction started.
"The city doesn't care," she said. "They should care about small businesses. They are trying to run us out."
Mykrantz added that the city did not listen to their concerns before the work started about a year ago. According to Kersevan, the city mailed informational fliers to the tenants and property owners and held several meetings with them.
"It is the city's sincere desire to accomplish this project construction on time and with minimal inconvenience to residents and business owners in the area," he said. "Construction-related delays are expected, however, access is provided all the time to businesses and residences in the project area of construction."
Kersevan added that night work will start soon to eliminate inconvenience to merchants and residents in the surrounding area. The project is set to be completed by the end of October.
"It will improve traffic circulation and safety by concentrating all left turns into protected left turn pockets, thereby eliminating left turn conflicts that currently exist along the corridor," Kersevan said.
Karen Kellaian of Brentwood Decorative Rock said that the current work and end result make access difficult for the light industrial businesses in the area that use big rigs and large delivery trucks to haul merchandise and product out of their locations.
"It is causing a lot of problems here," she said. "The median is not functional for us. They are trying to get everyone out of here."