Virginia Beach, VA (WTKR) – The Laskin Road Gateway Project at the Oceanfront is almost complete, and for businesses in the area it could not be soon enough.
The project is more than two months behind schedule, but Friday there was progress as Laskin Road reopened. It has been blocked off since January.
Business owners in the area say the project has hurt their bottom line.
“It has definitely dropped off a bit, at the beginning was the worst because I think everyone thought we were closed,” says Betsy Walker, a waitress at Nick’s Restaurant.
Walker says it got so bad she had to take on another job to make up for lost tips and she holds the city accountable.
“I’m not no engineer, so I don’t know how long everything takes, but I feel like they dug up one hole moved the dirt pile here, moved it over there, dug up another hole and filled it back in,” says Walker.
Project Manager Chris Wojtowicz says the city had some delays that were out of its control, like the weather. He also said the work underground was extensive and a water main broke twice while they were working.
He says everything should be complete within the next two months.
“There is a lot of housekeeping to make right before we do final acceptance of the project,” says Wojtowicz.
Once complete, all power lines along Laskin Road will be underground. Locals and tourists will have access to shops, restaurants, and the ocean, plus a place to park in the garage.