Area Business Owners: Mileground Construction is Affecting Sales - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Area Business Owners: Mileground Construction is Affecting Sales

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Morgantown residents know the headache construction at Route 705 and the Mileground Road has not been helping their commutes, and it's not been easy for area businesses either, who said sales have been impacted.

"Back-up, back-up back-up, it's constantly backed up... I don't do any businesses if I have to go 705, not out the Mileground, no," said Judy Johnson of Morgantown.

Many residents share her frustration. Heavy traffic is forcing commuters to look elsewhere for quicker easier routes, forcing people away from dozens of local businesses.

"What's happened is that it's turned prime retail spots, places that are well traveled and people go to and that pumps the economy, and it creates a chokehold, and we weren't prepared," said Carl Benedict, owner of Club 24 Fitness.

Many businesses are feeling the impact and are trying to work around it.

Recently, Club 24 Fitness began featuring alternative directions to the gym in its television commercials to help members avoid the Mileground Road.

Benedict said a dedicated membership is still driving the business but added that he's noticed slowed growth.

"A lot of the people I talk to say, 'Carl, we'd love to come to your place, but we can't get to you.' The bottom line is, what good is a great deal, or a great product or place, an eatery a fitness center or clothing store, what good is it, if you can't there," said Benedict.

Rhonda Rice of Cool Kids Consignment is also looking for ways to continue growing her new business. She's chosen to appeal directly to people's wallets to support her store.

"Some of the methods we've used are sales, we've had a lot of promotions," said Rice. "We see that when we run those sales that it does increase and get people to come back on the Mileground, and show that traffic isn't that bad."

For people looking to make it through the stretch of road, businesses said that traffic is calmer during non-peak drive times and the weekends.

Construction to add the roundabout is intended to relieve the area, which many considered heavily congested before. The roadwork could be completed as soon as August.

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