SYRACUSE, N.Y.(NCC News)– Parts of downtown Syracuse have been a construction zone for almost a month now. Today, crews began paving the 300 block of Salina Street.
Businesses were given a letter from the construction company, Seneca Stone Corp., that said starting June 1, 2021, the street would be closed for approximately three weeks to reconstruct the section of roadway.
It has been past the three weeks mark and according to local businesses, the road closures are expected to continue into July. Many of the businesses have had their usual schedules disrupted and are expected to lose more business.
Nicole Samolis said that Wednesdays at her market and bistro, Epicuse, will be different now because of the construction.
“We have our wine and whiskey Wednesdays that we do here, so normally on a nice day were outside with our music and tables,” she said. “We’ll be inside today and most likely we’ll see a decrease in traffic because of that.”
She said some of the decreases have been from people who don’t know how to get to the businesses without being able to park on the street in front of them.
“I had one woman call the other day and she’s like ‘how do I get to you?’ and I’m like ‘well you can park anywhere,'” she said. “I think sometimes people get to the idea that you have to be able to park right in front of where you’re stopping, rather than getting out and parking a couple blocks away. So, we’ve just been managing through it and helping those guests to get to us.”
Other decreases have been from non-local tourists that would usually walk by and stop from curiosity.
“It’s those visitors or those curiosity seekers that say ‘oh I want to know more about Epicuse’ that we’ve seen less of,” she said.
Mohamed Hoque from Dollar Wise said that people from out of town may not know businesses are open or want to avoid construction zones.
“People that doesn’t interact with the news or something they may think its closed…or try to avoid any kind of construction,” he said.
Hoque said he has noticed less people in his store since the construction began.
“It’s kind of slow, yes, it is slow,” he said. “But it will pick up later… but right now, overall, yes, (construction) is affecting it more or less.”
Samolis said until the construction ends, all businesses can do is remain hopeful.
“We know we have to suffer through this to be able to get the end result,” she said. “But once it’s done, it’s going to be done and it’s not going to have to be done for another ten years. So, the end result is what we keep our eye focused on.”
Samolis and Hoque said the city has been holding meetings and giving email updates to keep business owners informed the construction.
Hoque hopes that once the construction is over, the city will bring in attractions to bring more people and traffic downtown.
“It will be helpful once this construction is done to make up or recover the lost period of time,” he said.
So far, the city and construction company have not responded to NCC News about when the construction will definitely be finished. NCC News will provide updates as they become available