Business tough for some as Ina Road construction project nears half-way mark

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Crews are nearing the half-way mark in the I-10 & Ina Road construction; currently, they're about nine months into the two-year long project. The construction has caused many stores and restaurants in the area to lose customers and business.

Some have made the decision to close their doors temporarily until construction is complete, but that's not the case for Donut Wheel. The mom & pop donut shop is a staple in town, and has been there for about 40 years.

"That is our plan, from the beginning," cashier Sophia Padilla said. "To pretty much weather it out and see how far we can go."

There's no question things are tough for the business right now. Padilla explained some days are great, some days are not-so-great, and they really have to take it day by day. Often times, business is dictated by the changing landscape, literally and figuratively, of the construction project.

KGUN9 checked in with Donut Wheel about three months ago. At that time, there was a dirt road that led up to the building; now, the road is paved. However, the constantly-changing project brings new challenges along with the change, according to Padilla. 

Some of those challenges include less space for parking, and a new and confusing traffic pattern in the midst of dirt, detours, and street signs. But still, it's not enough to scare away some customers.

"Our regulars still come every day," Padilla said. "They still need their coffee and donuts."

Other customers are making a point to come by Donut Wheel, Padilla explained. Another customer even created a monthly Facebook Event to try to attract other people to the store in an effort to help keep up business. 

"It makes us feel proud, it makes us feel grateful to all of our customers that have been here for so many years," Padilla said.

When the project is completed in the spring of 2019, Padilla expects Donut Wheel will be standing there strong, as it has for decades.

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