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Published April 30, 2012, 10:22 PM

Moorhead businesses concerned with Main Avenue construction project

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - As you cross the Main Avenue Bridge into Moorhead, the corridor is now dotted with orange construction cones up through 8th street. It's a nightmare for drivers, and could affect several area businesses too.

As you cross the Main Avenue Bridge into Moorhead, the corridor is now dotted with orange construction cones up through 8th street. It's a nightmare for drivers, and could affect several area businesses too.

Ace Hardware in Moorhead is now sandwiched between railroad tracks on the North and this construction headache to the south. It will almost undoubtedly result in a drop in sales. Like other businesses we talked to today, its owner is taking everything in stride and maintaining a positive outlook.

Mandy Peterson – Owner, Ace Hardware: “In the end, we are just looking forward to a better roadway.”

Despite the positive outlook, on day one, "The Helpful Place" has already seen less traffic.

Mandy Peterson: “A little bit during the lunch hour, it seemed slower, but at least some of our regulars have been still coming around.”

Crews have started replacing an aging water main, covering four blocks of the road, and blocking the entrance into several businesses. You can now only access John Eidsness's American Family Insurance Agency through the back roads. The Main Avenue entry has been cut off.

John Eidsness – Insurance Agent: “We've certainly seen less traffic in our office today than normal.”

Eidsness says the city told him there would also be periodic water shut offs, but like his neighbor to the north, he knows it's work that simply needs to happen.

John Eidsness: “It's a necessary evil and I was really pleased, the Moorhead city engineering office came to us in advance to let us know what was going to happen.”

The city hopes to complete the construction project by July 1st, possibly sooner. Until then, these businesses just hope to keep their regulars coming in the door.

Some in Moorhead are expressing concern over the city's current state. Nearly 50 people attended a town hall meeting put on by city officials and Mayor Mark Voxland.

Citizens felt the city needs to sell itself better to entice more businesses and home-buyers. There was also concern about the lack of traffic flow from the north to the south part of town across the tracks. People recognized, the city has less funding than its sister to the west.

Artie Kuhn – Moorhead Resident: “That's somewhat limiting I think, but I think they do have a vision. They made some good points that they have a lot of buildable land. They are protected in terms of flooding which has been a big issue.”

The city hopes to hold at least two more of these throughout the year.

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