Traffic project causing headaches for N.J. drivers, businesses

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A traffic project in the Garden State is causing big backups for 50,000 drivers every day. (WPVI)

A traffic project in the Garden State is causing big backups for 50,000 drivers every day.

And it's causing even bigger problems for the businesses surrounded by the construction.

"Everyone doesn't even yield, they just keep going. Tractor-trailers are blocking so it's a real difficult situation driving around here," said Chad Anglemoyer, delivery worker.

"Here" is the Flemington Circle, where Routes 202, 31 and 12 meet. The state is in the middle of an $11 million project to reconfigure the circle, but the construction is having a terrible effect on nearby businesses.

"This is the absolute worst thing that can happen for any small businessman," said John Paulsen, Flemington Yamaha.

John Paulsen runs Flemington Yamaha on the circle. He says walk-in customers have disappeared since the project started.

"We are keeping our core business, but any people that are looking and want to just stop by because it was formerly convenient to pull in here, it is no longer convenient," said Paulson.

Next door at the Dunkin' Donuts they say business is down 60 percent, and they're losing about $15,000 a week. They are now cutting back on hours and employees.

"You look at the number it's so like (up and down)," said Ahmad Shaban, Dunkin' Donuts.

Managers say the place would normally be packed, but with heavy equipment operating right out front, customers are staying away.

"I used to swing through here probably several days a week. Now, I mean it's been a couple of weeks, and I realize how are they even staying open with this?" said Susan Goldstein of Flemington.

Business at the nearby STS Tire store is reported to be down by 35 percent.

State transportation officials say they've put up signs and created driveways so customers can get to the businesses, and point out there's access to most stores from behind. But you've got to be careful when you're turning in that you don't collide with heavy machinery.

"Very, very confusing. Hopefully it'll be done pretty soon," said Laurie Pike of Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Unfortunately, the headaches here will continue. The project isn't set to be completed until the spring of 2018.
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