Merrick business owners: Construction hurting bottom line

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MERRICK -

Some Merrick business owners say construction work being done by National Grid is hurting their bottom line.

The owner of Village Streetwear says usually this time of year her store is full of customers, but her store business is down 25 percent, and she believes it’s due to construction since the summer.

Lesa Shapiro says the construction has slowed traffic on Merrick Road, and that the traffic stretches as far back as Lindenmere Drive in one direction and Dobson Avenue in the other.

She says customers have told her they sometimes sit in 20 minutes of traffic on Merrick Road because of the construction.

Shapiro says she notices customers get frustrated, and either buy a fraction of what they would have bought because they end up in a rush or avoid the area all together.

National Grid released a statement saying in part, "Installing underground natural gas main is challenging and complex work and it can be disruptive for a certain period of time to customers, residents and businesses along the route. We try to reduce disturbances by working together to address issues both before and during the project. We apologize for any inconvenience, but the work is absolutely necessary to further improve natural gas safety and reliability."

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