CATS helps businesses along light rail construction

by: Jenna Deery Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In a matter of weeks, people will see construction on the light rail extension in north Charlotte go into full swing which means traffic delays and changes to business entrances.
Eyewitness News reporter Jenna Deery went to city leaders Tuesday and asked how they are trying to help businesses avoid losing customers.
The city has spent thousands of dollars on signs for business owners to use.
Officials don't want businesses losing money because if they do, the city does too.
Each vehicle that comes into Nicoya Tires on North Tryon Street is an opportunity for Elman Secqueira to build his business.
“We have strong loyal customers,” Secqueira said.
But construction on the light rail's Blue Line extension has created challenges mainly because he is losing parts of his shop -- the front parking lot will be taken out and signage has to be moved.
“We actually have pushed our signs to the limit as far as where the city will allow us to go.” Secqueira said.
The Charlotte Area Transit System has spent about $14,000 on signs for businesses.
They've printed 500 of them to be posted to signal people in, past the dirt so businesses don't get lost in the construction.
“These businesses are open,” said John Merzygod, project manager. “They continue to stay open and we're going to provide access.”
Project managers updated business owners and residents Tuesday night on construction plans that could start in a few weeks from the Seventh street stop to Old Concord Road.
Closures include the Eastway Bridge and 36th Street to build the line where drivers will have to make adjustments and business owners like Secqueira will have to make sure people know he's open for business.
The extension goes to University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Construction from Old Concord Road to the university could start in early summer.
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