SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Some Savannah business owners blame a prolonged construction project for keeping customers from their doors.
Georgia’s oldest city is seeing a healthy rebound in tourism a year after the coronavirus pandemic struck, WTOC-TV reported. But shops in a two-block area of Broughton Street in Savannah’s historic district aren't getting much of that business because of paving and landscaping work that’s shut down part of the road.
David Huynh owns Envy Nail Bar on the normally busy downtown thoroughfare. He says his business is down 55% over the past year. He blames construction work that has reduced the foot traffic that Huynh relies on for walk-in customers.
“We gauge it with the other business owners down the street, they have higher foot traffic,” Hyunh said. “And when you get to this side of Broughton it’s dead, it’s a ghost town on this side.”
The construction project is repaving the busy street and adding new trees, sidewalks and parking. Work on the first phase near Hyunh’s salon was supposed to take a few months, but has now lasted more than a year.
City officials say that’s because some construction materials were hard to get during the pandemic. Crews also had to deal with some decaying water mains in the area.
“There was quite a delay early on,” said Susan Broker, Savannah’s director for Special Events Film and Tourism. "And so now we are playing a little catch-up, but we are on point.”
Crews have been paving the street near Hyunh’s nail salon. City officials say once that block is finished, workers will head east to start on the next section of road. Five more blocks of Broughton Street remain to be done.