In Noyac, roadwork on the curve of Noyac Road began earlier this month, with the purpose of repaving that part of the street and creating about 300 feet of new roadway designed to make the curve a little less dangerous for motorists.
But the work has come at a hefty price for some.
Both the Whalebone General Store and Cromer’s Market, which sit side-by-side on the curve where construction is currently underway, have seen declines in crucial spring and summer business, owners said. Linda Heine, owner of the Whalebone, said her family-owned gift and candy store has been hit particularly hard.
“We’ve had virtually no business,” she said, adding that only 10 people came into the store on a recent Tuesday afternoon, most to buy lottery tickers. “But we’re still here. We’re trying,” she added.
Ms. Heine said that she never supported the project, which was years in the making and even had a delayed start. One aspect of the change to the curve on Noyac Road is to slow down traffic, but Ms. Heine said she has not seen that happen just yet.
The decline in business is especially upsetting, Ms. Heine said, because, like the rest of the East End, this is the start of what is supposed to be the store’s busy season.
“This is a concern,” she said. “You stock up for the summer—most of your bills come in July. And here we are.”
At Cromer’s, the summer business is still strong, but it is down about 10 to 15 percent, according to owner Tony Lawless. Mr. Lawless supports the project, because he said he believes it will make the road safer, but he added that he would like to see traffic directed better. He said it seems as though people do not know they can still park in the small lot on the side of the store because of all the cones set up due to construction.
“I can’t blame them for the loss of business,” Mr. Lawless said. “I understand this project has to get done. [But] right now, it’s a maze of cones out there. We’re going into the busiest part of the season.”
Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor said that inclement weather has made this construction project rather difficult to manage, but he added it should be finished by July 11. Work will stop on Wednesday, July 2, for the Fourth of July holiday, then resume July 7.
Mr. Gregor said the amount of work that gets done this week will determine if the project finishes on time so that the businesses can go back to their usual operations.
“We’re trying to do a little every day,” he said.