Rte. 17 expansion impacts nearby businesses

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Several York County businesses say they are losing customers, due to ongoing construction on George Washington Memorial Highway.

The $25.2 million project will widen the highway to six lanes. VDOT said crews have worked on storm drain installation and median widening, among other things.

Heather Hogge has watched as the orange barrels made their way up to her mother’s business, Ginny’s Restaurant. “The bumps, the congestion, people stop and go and stop and go. It’s not cool,” she said.

Hogge said the construction project has badly hurt business.

“It’s definitely chopped it about in half. It’s slowed us down. Lots of customers have complained about the construction. I mean, it’s terrible,” she said.

Hogge said the restaurant had to cut staff in half and close part of the dining room because of the drop in business.

Construction started in August 2013 and is expected to be completed by winter 2016. VDOT said about 56,000 vehicles travel through the area daily, and in 20 years, that number will increase to 90,000.

Judy Berg said she comes down to the area from Williamsburg once a month.

“We decided to come down here to Ginny’s for lunch, and it’s just terrible trying to get on the road, off the road, and so I can understand why some of the people in the restaurant business, or any of the business here, are frustrated,” Berg said.

“On the weekends, when everybody’s out and about, it’s slow. It’ll take maybe five to ten minutes just to go all the way down the street,” driver Anthony Stanford said.

He said he doesn’t really mind the construction, he just wants to see the finished product. “After everything is completed, I think traffic will move more smoothly,” Stanford said.

VDOT said it finished paving part of the construction zone Thursday night, which should help with some of the bumps that VDOT said were unrelated to the project.

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