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Construction hurting area businesses

MAHOMET -- Road blocks near Lake of the Woods are doing a lot more than just stopping traffic. The construction is blocking entrances to four area businesses.
MAHOMET -- Road blocks near Lake of the Woods are doing a lot more than just stopping traffic. The construction is blocking entrances to four area businesses.

Crews are lowering Lake of the Woods Road seven feet. It's part of bridge construction over Interstate 74, but each day of hitting the pavement is driving businesses into the ground. If you drove up to orange barricades, what would you do?

Teresa Eichelberger asks, "Do I drive around this? It's really kind of confusing when you see the sign, 'road closed.' Some people think, 'it's an orange barricade, you don't go through it.'"

What drivers don't know, is they can drive through. It's the only way to get to businesses beyond the orange barricades. But there is little to no signage directing drivers, so they're turning around without trying.

Eichelberger's dad opened Uncle Buck's Sports Bar 28-years ago. When she heard construction would be in her front yard, she did not think much of it.

"I thought we were established enough, I thought we were important enough. But we've taken a heck of a hit."

A few months ago, Uncle Buck's was bringing in $32,000 per month. Now that barricades block her driveway, they are lucky to make $12,000.

"I don't know that we'll make it. That's the part that hurts," said Eichelberger.

Nearby businesses like R & S RV Sales and Mimi's Antiques are hurting, too. Both have reached out to the Illinois Department of Transportation, asking them to put up signs telling drivers they can go through, but they say it's been a losing battle. The construction has been going on for about eight weeks, and it will not be completed for another year.
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