Roundabout construction concerns business owners

The intersection of M-37 and M-115 will close on Wednesday in Mesick.

The intersection of M-37 and M-115 will close on Wednesday in Mesick. Business owners in that area are hoping they won't have to layoff their employees.

â??It's going to be tough. Is it going to be a fifty percent loss in business or more? Very possibly more than that but I don't know that. It's an unanswered question,â?? said Chuck Ellens, owner of Ellens Corners'.

The busy intersection in Ellensâ?? front yard will soon be home to construction equipment.

Traffic will be re-routed starting Wednesday so that workers can start building a roundabout.

With the new traffic flow, Ellens does not yet know how much it will impact his business.

â??If we're not busyâ?¦ we're no different than anybody else; any other business and I might have to lay some (people) off for a short time.â??

Ellens is staying optimistic about the construction project.

â??I think in the long run when it all gets flowed out and everybody knows what's going onâ?¦ it might even increase our business here because people slow down.â??

In the meantime, drivers will follow a detour. With the closure of the M-37 and M-115 intersection, crews have set up temporary three and four way stops in the area. Businesses near the intersection are hoping customers will keep coming in the door.

â??I think we're going to have a lot less customers coming in but hopefully we can count on the local people and the people that come in on the weekends,â?? said Sparks Restaurant employee Jennifer Smith.

Once construction wraps up, Smith is willing to try out the new roundabout.

â??I said I'd try it once. If I don't like it I'll go around it. That's what I tell everybody.â??

Smith shares the same hope as those at MDOT, to improve the safety of the intersection.

â??Less accidents and not a lot of backed up traffic on the weekends.â??