South Cashua businesses say widening project hurts them
FLORENCE, S.C. – The South Cashua Drive widening project promises to ease traffic congestion in West Florence, but the project is having an effect on the businesses on the road.
Several business owners in The Shoppes at Celebration Plaza, located just before the intersection of South Cashua Drive and Celebration Boulevard, reported substantial declines in their business revenues since construction on the widening project began.
The project is expected to take more than a year.
John Leo Capotosti of Celebration Laundry said it was hard not to be frustrated by the decline in business. Several of his customers, who travel long distances to use the laundry, have to travel on South Cashua and were finding it difficult to navigate the additional congestion caused by the construction.
He said business at the laundry had fallen by approximately 50 percent over several months.
Capotosti also said he would like to see more activity on the construction project, especially since he had seen multiple businesses close on South Cashua.
According to Phillip Bethea, a resident construction engineer of the Department of Transportation, the project is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2019.
Once complete, South Cashua will have five lanes, two on each side plus a middle turn lane, from Second Loop Road to Celebration Boulevard, and will have three lanes, one on each side plus a middle turn lane, from Celebration to Knollwood Road.
Juan Chen, owner of Yummy Cuisine, said through a translation that a decline in revenues was pretty obvious. Her business, she added, had lost approximately $100 to $200 per day.
Toni Yates, who works at Sugarcoat Salon and Spa, said several of her customers had started going to other locations, as they found it difficult to enter and exit the plaza’s parking lot.
There is a small middle lane near the plaza, but the middle lane is not wide enough to accommodate a car, so a car heading toward Florence on South Cashua must stop traffic to enter the plaza if cars are heading in the opposite direction.
Yates added that she wasn’t sure how much business she had lost as a commissioned employee.
The effects of the project on the plaza seem to be limited to businesses that rely on walk-in clientele. A real estate office and a physical therapy business reported that their businesses had not been affected by the project.