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Broadway businesses hang on, wait for widening to end

RTA has program to assist businesses
Posted at 7:17 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 21:17:53-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Broadway widening project will have a major impact on traffic to and from Tucson’s downtown. It’s having a major impact on businesses as construction goes on.

KGUN 9 On Your Side talked to one business about coping and how the Regional Transportation Authority has been trying to help.

Construction on Broadway has been a classic case of congestion now for freer flow in the future. And that trade off can be tough for businesses along the road.

For almost two years, drivers have had to work their way around barricades, bumps and detours on Broadway between Euclid and Country Club. Some businesses have shut down as traffic challenges made it tough for customers to get to their shops.

The Poster Warehouse and Gallery is the type of business where customers want to come in person to arrange for frames around pictures precious to them.

At this shop, they say business is down about 50% — though it’s hard to tell how much of the slowdown is from construction and how much is from COVID.

Karen Bowe says, “So it's been ongoing and a challenge from time to time. But all in all, I think that it's going to be great when it's done, and they've been good to us.”

She says the Regional Transportation Authority has been good about letting them know about how construction changes can change traffic flow around their shop. RTA has a business assistance program to keep businesses updated with construction changes, offer maps to help customers cope with the clutter and even suggest ways to boost business.

The program includes business access signs to help out when an entrance may be hard to see But Karen Bowe is looking forward to about two months from now when the widening should be done.

“It's been a long road, a long haul long road. But it's very much needed for the City of Tucson to have this road widened now. And unfortunately, it just happened to be in front of our business.