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Business owners navigating Ina Road closures

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 21:17:37-04

It has been one month since the closure began and work continues on the Ina Road and Interstate 10 interchange.

So far, ADOT has torn down part of the freeway’s bridge over existing Ina Rd. as it works to widen it. Throughout the two year project Ina Rd. will remain closed at the interstate and traffic detoured away from the construction zone, and the businesses in it.

For more than 20 years, people have come from across Tucson to have Staci Doolin groom their dog.

Now she fears what this closure will mean for new business despite her good reputation.

“I think new customers will think, ‘I don’t want to go through that mess I’ll pick some place closer’ even if I got a good recommendation,” she said.

A month into the project, Doolin says she and her customers are frustrated by detours and delays, “It seemed like they didn’t prepare the other streets to handle the traffic flow once Ina was closed.”

Before work started last month, the Marana Chamber of Commerce surveyed nearly 160 businesses staying open through construction.

While most owners are optimistic that the construction will benefit them, according to the responses compliled and published by the Marana chamber, some said: “business is about 50% down” and it is “costing people their livelihood”.

Copper Creek Cookies owner Clint Peek said he has watched walk-in business drop in-step with the drop in vehicle traffic on Ina Rd. 

He started booking more catering jobs when he learned about the construction plans.

“And so you make plans, make adjustments, we talked with our landlord since then and said ‘Hey this is how we're going to play it from now on’ unlike the nine years that we've been here,” Peek said.

There is free marketing consulting available to businesses in the area that remain open but the Marana Chamber says it is ultimately up to individuals to make the most of it.