BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) - There are lots of orange cones along state Route 25 in Bowling Green already. This week, there are even more along Poe Road. Local businesses said they are hurting from the added construction.
The entire project in that area is designed to widen the roads. The Ohio Department of Transportation said it will still take another year to finish the construction.
Westbound Poe Road is only expected to be closed through July, but business owners said they are still worried what could happen in that short time period.
Nate Henschen said currently, his business is not in the best location, because one entrance is by construction on state Route 25 and the other is off Poe Road, where construction just began.
"It definitely has slowed our lunch crowd down and our sports bar, and even in the evenings, we've seen a decrease in food sales. And I just think people are trying to avoid all the construction," said Nate Henschen, manager of Al-Mar Lanes.
Henschen said businesses are suffering because drivers are confused about whether stores off Poe Road are open.
Orange signs are designed to help, but drivers said they do not solve the problem.
"When you drive by the entrance of a business you can't even tell if it's open, because there's so many cones and everything like that. It's been a total nightmare, for everybody," said Andy Morgan, a Bowling Green resident.
Even with businesses that are obviously open, drivers said they just do not want to deal with the construction, and many choose to stay home instead.
"I actually live right down the road and I have to deal with it every single day. And around 5:30 it's chaos around here," explained Morgan.
ODOT said it is trying to keep the public informed about the project through public meetings and frequent updates.
Business managers like Henschen said they appreciate the improvements that will come when the construction is over, but they are mostly happy there is an end in sight.
"Hopefully they'll get done quickly. And they should be ahead of schedule because they had good weather this winter. So yep, we're waiting for it to be over," said Henschen.
A reminder from ODOT: Drivers should take North College Drive as a detour from Poe Road.