One of the downtown communities in Lackawanna County is questioning the price of progress.
Store owners in Moscow believe a Main Street construction project is actually keeping customers away.
The lunch rush at the Moscow Deli isn’t much of a rush anymore. Its owners said there are times when the lines of traffic get so long on Main Street, there is no line in the deli at all.
Customers said a PennDOT construction project on Main Street has been keeping them away.
“I actually haven’t stopped in here since they started construction, because there’s no room, just no room to do anything,” said customer AJ Ferretti.
PennDOT put the construction cones up almost a year ago. Crews have been installing new traffic signals, fixing drainage, and widening the street.
It comes at a price, said Jackie Corning, owner of Matthews Hardware.
“My parking out front was taken away. The older people had to park across the street and then deal with crossing with the traffic. So, it was hard. It definitely affected all the businesses in town,” Corning said.
PennDOT stopped work for the winter, and the contractor has told business owners the project could go well in to 2013
“The loyal customers are still coming in, but even some of them you don’t see as often. But, we have seen a steady decline in our business because of the construction,” said Tim Riley, owner of Moscow Agway.
The goal is to make Main Street better, but some business owners said the project comes at the wrong time. With an already struggling economy, this barrier to business only makes it worse.