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Pains of Progress

Vail Mills businesses face ‘hassle’ of road work

June 19, 2011
By MIKE ZUMMO , The Leader Herald

VAIL MILLS - One of two driveways leading up to the Dairy Frost Ice Cream stand was blocked off by construction equipment.

On the other side of the outlet onto Route 29, traffic was piled up as a flagger let alternating one-lane traffic through.

Dairy Frost owner Ed Lamberton said the state's early work on a roundabout project at the intersection of Routes 29 and 30 has been "a hassle." In some cases, the work is hurting business at establishments around the intersection.

Article Photos

Construction work continues at the intersection of Routes 29 and 30 in Vail Mills on Tuesday.

The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo

Matt Deronda, manager at the Fastrac convenience store and gas station across the street from Dairy Frost on Route 29, said he's seen a slight decline at his business.

"They're just going with one lane so that makes it tough to get in and out," Deronda said.

Tony Ilacqua, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, the focus of the work is widening the roadway to allow for two-way traffic during the summer.

However, that road widening at Routes 29 and 30 cuts right into the Dairy Frost property.

"There's not a lot we can do about it," Lamberton said Tuesday afternoon during a slow period at the ice-cream stand. "They want to get this corner filled and create that extra lane."

Diagonally across the corner from Dairy Frost is the Fulton County Tourism Information Center.

Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry Tourism Director Terry Swierzowski said the center has been unaffected by the construction.

"They're making great progress on the road behind the visitors center, which is something they promised to do before real construction started," she said. "We will never be without access for our visitors to the visitors center."

Illacqua said the widening of the road has to be completed by the end of this month because of an agreement to have two lanes of traffic -one in each direction - moving through the area at all times between July 1 and Labor Day.

A little up the road, Illacqua said, work on the bridge over the Kenyetto Creek has been suspended until after Labor Day. Once the widening is completed, work on the roundabout will begin. Construction will start in the center and move outward.

Fastrac and other area businesses, such as Dunkin' Donuts, where management declined comment for this story, have to face the traffic and the construction all day.

Dairy Frost, the most imposed upon by construction work, doesn't open until 1 p.m. during the week.

"The best part for me is that they're out of here by 3 p.m.," Lamberton said. "I do most of my business after that, but it will be a long summer."



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