Road Report: Businesses get a hit from Road Construction
Pilgrim Dry Cleaners is one of many businesses that felt an impact from the summer road construction. Drivers found alternate routes around construction.
“I think our drivers are definitely feeling the stress,” said Keona Tranby from Pilgrim Dry Cleaners in Brooklyn Park.
With roads clogged due to construction, drivers had to find alternate routes.
“The main cost for our business is the overtime,” Tranby said. “Our drivers are having to do the same route every day, it’s just taking them longer and with labor costs the way they are, we are really feeling the effects of the overtime.”
Tranby says the construction frustrated drivers, they they did their best to meet deadlines.
Finding that alternate route
“It was very much a rough summer,” said Kent Barnard of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, or MNDOT. “We had a lot of closures up here. We had single-lane traffic. The big problem in this area is there is only one good way to get across the Mississippi River without traveling several miles in each direction.”
Even in non-road construction areas delivery drivers deal with traffic woes.
In 2017, author Randal O’Tool released a report titled, “Twin Cities Traffic Congestion: It’s No Accident.”
According to his data, traffic snarls cost businesses almost $4 billion a year because of lost time and wasted fuel. That was more than MNDOT’s total budget of $3.4 billion.
“Whatever time it takes, we just have to take our time and go slow,” said Dave, who drives for North Ridge transportation. “Certainly it can be a little frustrating. It can be. That’s the way you have to handle it.”
If traffic seems more congested, you are not imagining things. MNDOT says the freeways are busier than ever.
“MNDOT does take a hard look at that every year and reports on that,” said Chris Hoberg of MNDOT. “We do see a percentage here or there.”
According to multiple reports on traffic patterns, the Twin Cities is now the 17th most congested metro area out of 52 across the nation. In 1982 the region was 35th.