A perceived delay in completing a road improvement project in Windsor Township is actually the result of a miscommunication, but that doesn't make things any better for some area businesses.
Becky Pfeiffer, owner of Becky's Kitchen, said when a section of Route 124, known locally as East Prospect Road, was closed earlier this year, business to her restaurant dropped off.
"When they closed (part of) Route 124 back on March 28, I started loosing money," she said.
Pfeiffer estimated the 5188 E. Prospect Road restaurant loses just under $200 a day compared to before the project started. That meant she had to let go three employees and the two employees that remain work fewer than 20 hours a week combined.
Extended: When the state Department of Transportation announced East Prospect Road would be closed between Miller Drive and Christensen Road starting it March, it said the road would be reopen at the end of July.
However, PennDOT press officials weren't made aware that the road base had to be raised, resulting in water mains under the road also being raised closer to the surface, said Mike Crochunis, PennDOT spokesman.
That caused the $1.3 million project to soften a curve in the road and make it safer for drivers to last longer than previously thought.
"That didn't make it to the public," Crochunis said. "That was a miscommunication with the public."
The road is expected to be open on or before Sept. 13, he said.
The contractor, J.D. Eckman Inc., is to start paving sometime next week and open the road shortly thereafter.
"They'll get it paved to the point where they can open it," Crochunis said.
The contractor will have to return to fully complete the work, which includes installing guide rails and other tasks.
Mains: When the York Water Company was informed of the project in 2009, officials began planning to ensure that service wouldn't be disrupted to roughly 3,000 customers east of the project, said JT Hand, the company's chief operating officer.
"The good news is ... not a single customer was affected," Hand said.
The water company had to disconnect its main under East Prospect Road, detour lines around the project and then install new lines under the now raised road.
The road base was raised between 12 and 14 feet meaning the water company also had to raise its water lines.
Typically, water lines are three feet under the surface, and if the lines under the road weren't raised, they'd have been 17 feet underground. That would have meant higher costs and additional dangers in getting to the lines in the future, Hand said.
Summer traffic: Becky's Kitchen, which opened in September, is about five miles from the project site and two miles from the Susquehanna River.
Pfeiffer was hoping boaters and other river-goers would have stopped at her restaurant as they took East Prospect Road to and from the river over the summer, but that didn't happen.
She said motorists likely found other ways to get to the river that didn't include taking East Prospect Road.
Layman's Gun Shop owner Terry Nicozisis said business to his East Prospect borough store has decreased between 20 to 30 percent since the road closure.
Because of the drop in business, Nicozisis had to let go two part-time employees.
Some customers who aren't familiar with the area attempt to take a detour around the project but end up getting lost and call the store for directions. Nicozisis put up maps around the shop so employees can tell callers the best route to the store, he said.
"To get to me, they (customers) are driving past other gun shops," he said.
Second closure: A second realignment project in Lower Windsor Township could also affect business at Becky's Kitchen and Layman's Gun Shop, its owners said.
PennDOT was to close Cool Creek Road between Adams and Nursery roads Tuesday. The road is expected to remain closed until December.
Pfeiffer said that closure, coupled with East Prospect Road still being closed, could further harm her business.
She added she knows the roads have to be worked on but would have liked to see the two projects staggered and not overlapping.
"I understand that work on the roads has to be done,"
About the projects:
* The realignment project on East Prospect Road between Miller Drive and Christensen Road in Windsor Township will cost $1.2 million.
That cost also includes replacing a pipe that carries a tributary to Kreutz Creek under the road.
With a section of the road closed, two detours have been set up. One takes motorists on Route 24, Lombard Road and Mount Pisgah Road, while a truck detour takes truckers on Route 24, Route 30, Cool Springs Road, Cool Creek Road and Mount Pisgah Road.
* The $2.9 million contract, awarded to Kinsley Construction Inc., includes the design and realignment of Cool Creek Road in Lower Windsor Township.
It also includes excavation and removal of the existing structures, installation of two pre-cast concrete box culverts, roadway reconstruction, drainage improvements and installation of guiderails, signs and new traffic lines.
The road is expected to reopen in December, but a work crew will have to return in spring or early summer for paving.
Cool Creek Road between Adams and Nursery roads will be closed as the project is being completed.
Kinsley officials will assist local residents with access to their properties during roadway reconstruction, PennDOT said.
A detour that follows Mount Pisgah Road, Main Street in Yorkana, Route 124, Maple Street and Main Street in East Prospect and Nursery Road will be in place.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.