HALL COUNTY, Ga – Some shop owners near Lake Lanier say a road project is costing them money, and they want to know why work on the project seems to have slowed.
Hement Patel runs a convenient store along Lanier Islands Parkway, but says shopping at his business has become inconvenient for many.
"We're barely making ends meet," said Patal. "Some months it's even difficult to do that."
His store is separated from traffic on Lanier Islands Parkway by orange barrels in a construction zone. It's been that way since October, the latest phase in a two-and-a-half year road widening project.
The Georgia DOT says it will all be over by the end of November.
"This project is actually ahead of schedule," said the DOT's Terri Pope. "We're trying to get it done as quickly as we can."
Crews have created paths and signs to help guide traffic to area shops, but Patel says all the change has cost him and others.
On the day 11Alive visited, we saw one crew placing dirt in a median. Patel says he hasn't seen any major paving work in awhile.
"They do shovel work, dirt work, but not real road construction work which they can finish and pave and get out of the way," said Patel.
The DOT explains that crews have poured two layers of asphalt, and are waiting for that to cure before adding the final layer. The work now is to prevent erosion.
"There will be paving taking place soon, first on those intersecting streets, then you'll see crews out to do the final paving, to do the final topping on the roadway," said Pope.
Pope acknowledged that Lanier Islands Parkway hasn't been the typical widening project. Crews were not allowed to close lanes during the winter holidays to avoid impeding the crowds that use the road to get to the Lanier Islands light show. The presence of Barn Swallows has delayed some bridge work until after nesting season.