Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Roadworks may not work for worried Brewster traders

Budleigh Salterton High Street during last year's renewal of the town's water mains





[It's been only a year since Budleigh Salterton's Chamber of Commerce was awarded a £3,000 pay-out by South West Water after traders complained that weeks of road excavations and traffic diversions had caused a slump in their profits. Half of the money was used to ensure that free three-hour parking for shoppers would be available at the Rolle Car Park in the High Street. The remainder paid for advertising in the local press and on radio, to get the message across that the town was back in business.

I'm reminded of this by reports from across the Atlantic, where the timing of roadworks in Brewster to improve the main Route 6A artery through the town is causing anxiety.

Budleigh Salterton and Brewster, our sister-town on Cape Cod, are both highly dependent on seasonal trade as far as local businesses are concerned.]

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Brewster businesses concerned about impact of Route 6A work
By Rich Eldred



The Drummer Boy windmill: one of Route 6A's best-known landmarks Photo by Byron Cain
Brewster will be spending $1.4 million of stimulus money to upgrade the culvert that carries Paines Creek under Route 6A but some businesses are worried about what the five- to six-weeks project will do to their shoulder season.

Specific dates for the work haven’t been set.

“It would be done right after Labor Day. It could be September. It could be October,” said Town Administrator Charles Sumner. “It depends on the bid and mobilization issues with the contractor. It depends on the contractor.”

“Originally it was supposed to be after Columbus Day,” said Robert Bugle who owns the Blue Skyes Guest House. (They may) up the time to Sept. 15, which, anybody who is in business on Route 6A knows, those are the best three weeks of the fall.”

Bugle also chairs the planning board and noted they “haven’t been consulted” since the road is a state highway and out of their jurisdiction.

The bridge over Paines Creek will be shut down while work is done so a detour is required. Eastbound traffic will be diverted down A.P. Newcomb Road, to Satucket Road, to Stony Brook Road and back out onto Route 6A. Westbound will travel the same route in the other direction.

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster
The concern is that through traffic will miss assorted antiques shops, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Luke’s Liquor plaza, Lemon Tree Village shops and other shops and businesses. One-way traffic will be allowed in and out since people live in the area so drivers will be able to go to the shops.

“Tourists aren’t going to be coming through here,” Bugle said. “An awful lot of things are going on then.”

Bugle was concerned work would start Sept. 15 and contracts would be signed before people had a chance to weigh in but there will be a informational hearing on the issue. One was scheduled for last Wednesday but it was canceled due to the potential blizzard.

The new hearing, held by Sumner, Police Chief Richard Koch and the chamber of commerce, will be held Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Cape Catholic Church on Stony Brook Road.

Brewster Paines Creek Marsh
Photo by Byron Cain

“Look what happened at the (Sagamore) Bridge,” Bugle noted. “Nobody came down. After Columbus Day business slows down but people are depending on these three weeks (before Columbus Day).

“In an ideal situation, we would do it in the middle of the winter,” Sumner conceded. “We can’t do it in the spring because of the herring run. We can’t do it in the summer because it’s the busiest time of the year. We have to do it in the fall. We have contacted a number of the businesses and that is the reason we want an informational hearing.”

The work will improve water flow into the Paines Creek marsh, aid the herring run and deal with some storm water issues.

Reprinted with permission from http://www.wickedlocal.com/

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