BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) – Bowling Green businesses said there is an end in sight. Currently, the road widening project on Route 25 has restricted traffic in both directions, but the Ohio Department of Transportation said that could change this week.
ODOT was originally going to open additional lanes of traffic Monday. According to the contractor, that got delayed because of unforeseen circumstances. The goal still is to open them this week in order to improve traffic flow and give businesses an extra boost.
Some local store owners said they have lost 40 percent of their business since construction started.
"We've had a lot of confused people trying to find us. How do you get here? You can't access Poe Road at all and we know Route 25 is terrible. So we do appreciate everyone that's still loyal and showing up," said Rod Kirian, owner of Radical Rod's BG Motorcycle Accessories.
Business owners are hoping even more people will show up once ODOT opens additional traffic lanes along Route 25.
"Anything will help. It's been so terrible people don't want to even come down to the north end of town. More road frontage will be great," said Kirian.
Business owners said they understand why the construction is being done, but it does not make it any easier, which is why the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation is offering a special loan.
"We would hate to see them close their doors because of the construction. It's important that we remember the people who are here and try and take care of them and help them," explained Sue Clark, with the BG Community Development Foundation.
Organizers said the program is specifically designed for the small businesses affected by Route 25 construction. The loans would be capped at $10,000.
"We don't want to get them so far into debt that once they come out of this, they have this huge debt hanging over them. So we're trying to find a happy medium between the two," said Clark.
Owners, like Kirian, said community support will get them through the last phases of construction.
"I'm hopeful. Certainly hopeful. There's always hope," said Kirian.