Construction nears completion on east Florence road project

FLORENCE, Ala. – A road improvement project in Florence has faced some major setbacks since it began last year, forcing business owners in the east Florence area to do all they can to hang on until the project is done.

In the fall, when the roundabout project started in east Florence, business owners were told it would take about 3 months; we’re now in month 9.

Since the pavement was first torn up at the intersection of Royal Avenue and Huntsville Road, a lot has gone on. As crews began to dig, road improvement quickly turned into replacing sewer and water lines, decades old.

Then, of course, rain set in.

“There were weeks at a time we didn’t have anything but a pond out here for a while,” explained Ken Patterson, owner of Ranger Batteries.

Patterson’s business has called an old fire station on Royal Avenue home for 25 years. He’s had a front-row seat to the construction.

Patterson says during the last few months, the business has dropped considerably.

“It’s down about 50%; that’s about what everybody’s is. All of them are down about 50%,” Patterson stated.

He and the other business owners are ready to see the roundabout project done and the barricades a thing of the past.

“It’s going to take a while to get back to normal and make up for what we lost, but we’ll get there one way or the other,” said Patterson.

Business owners are being told it could be the second week of July before the detour signs are gone for good and the road is opened back up.

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