Businesses already feeling impacts of Cecil Ashburn closure

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - The closure of Cecil Ashburn Road is affecting thousands of people across Huntsville.

17,000 drivers needed to find an alternate route Monday morning, but the closure affects more than just drivers.

Roadblocks are up at the corner of Donegal and Cecil Ashburn - that means that no one will be coming around the mountain to visit shops in Jones Valley. That traffic normally helps drive businesses in that area.

A couple of cars drove past the shops on Cecil Ashburn at the base of the mountain, and compared to last week, traffic has really slowed.

A popular breakfast joint had an empty parking lot except for one lone vehicle. That business even sent an employee home because they were so slow. None of their Big Cove regulars came in.

On that same street, however, employees at Tropical Smoothie Cafe say it hasn't been slow.

"It's been steady," shift leader Morgan Collett explained. "I thought it was going to be slower because the roads were closing but it's been steady."

None of their regulars from Big Cove stopped in either.

"I know one guy told me a few weeks ago that he wouldn't be back for a while because of the closing of the road," Collett added.

Barriers at each end of the closure were put in place Monday at 5 a.m. Shop owners down the hill hope they aren't a roadblock for business.

Several businesses in Jones Valley are working on marketing strategies to appeal to people closer to their stores. The owner of Yogurt Mountain actually opened a second location in Big Cove to offset the customers he was going to lose from the road closure.

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