by Lisa Tome
Bud Ewing has a way with words. Lately, that has come in handy. Ewing, owner of Jayco Liquors on Route 40 in Elkton since 1976, isn't shy about saying what he thinks about operating a business in a construction zone. Every two to three weeks, he posts a sign outside his business lamenting what he calls "lack of work" by a construction crew.
Shortly before Christmas, 2012, the area around Jayco became a work zone. Crews from Daisy Construction began installing a deceleration lane for the nearby shopping plaza, Elkton Crossing. "All of these projects have been started and none of them finished. The state (State Highway Administration officials) told me it would be five months. That was at Christmas time," said Ewing.
"I asked them not to do it because it would ruin the Christmas holiday. They set everything up and then they didn't work until January. They go out and do a little work," said Ewing. So far, Ewing said his business hasn't been impacted. But there is no way to gauge how many passersby don't want to cross through a work area to get to the store. "People are like me, fed up with road construction that's supposed to take months and it takes years," he said.
"He also said there are hazards created by the work zone and a pile of asphalt sitting on the roadside that causes flooding.
"Each time it rains, the water backs up through our parking lot. The cars ride on by," he said. He said he mentioned that to crews on scene. "They thought about it. But they didn't do anything about it," said Ewing. "I'm meeting last year's numbers (for sales). That's good in this economy. But how many people am I losing?," he said.
Last week, work was prohibited because stream restrictions are in place due to fish spawning. That restriction was lifted Sunday. Ewing said his signs criticizing the lack of productivity by the crews have been well received by customers. "I had one that said "Caution: Invisible Men Working". People liked that," he said. "I went through the anger stage. Now I hope I make them as mad as they make me," added Ewing.
Daisy Construction's corporate office in Delaware was contacted requesting information regarding this project. They did not respond to this request.