Fix 50 Project Raises Issues, Opportunities For Sacramento Businesses
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A major road construction project will mean traffic trouble for commuters in a stretch of Sacramento for nearly two months.
The Fix 50 project will first close down some eastbound lanes on the W-X viaduct starting on Tuesday, then westbound lanes will be closed. No closures will take place over Memorial Day weekend.
The project could also mean issues and opportunities for businesses located on alternate routes for traffic. During the project, cars will be headed toward W and X streets to try and find an easier route.
So what does that mean for local businesses?
“We are just going to have to deal with the congestion,” said Fred Stewart, the owner of Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies.
More cars along the side streets will be an inconvenience, but Stewart believes it may lead to more sales on his shop on X Street.
“I think it’s going to be good in a sense that there is more exposure,” he said. “As there will be a lot more traffic than there is now.”
More than 400,000 cars travel along the Highway 50 span, and a large chunk of them are expected to take a detour along W and X streets.
At Anthony’s Barbershop, those extra sets of eyes sitting in traffic could mean more business.
“We all struggle to get customers in the door and struggle against the chains so hopefully it will help with that,” said the shop owner.
He hopes it will entice his customers to stay downtown longer than they typically do now.
“It’s going to send more people downtown,” he said. “Hopefully people come down, try to get a haircut and figure something else out.”
Not everyone sees the improvement project as a positive for business, but Jan Lee says she will not let the traffic get to her.
“My husband, who is a bike commuter, is all upset about the Fix 50,” she said. “He’s constantly worried about it. I guess because I go to yogam and I’m trying to take in that yoga attitude, I’ll just deal with it.”
There is a ripple effect at the YMCA as well. Families will now be crossing an even busier road to get to the gym on W Street.
“We’ve got as much staff support as we can lend to that effort, and safety is our top priority,” said Sacramento YMCA executive director Amanda McCarthy. “We will be looking out for all of our families and kids in our programs.”
The monthlong project will have an impact, but most of the shop owners understand there are not a lot of other options.
“The infrastructure has to be fixed and I don’t know how you fix the freeway without taking traffic off of it,” Stewart said.