High Street Fiber Optics Project Puts Damper on Business - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

High Street Fiber Optics Project Puts Damper on Business

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A fiber optics project on High Street in Charlottesville stopped more than just traffic.  Businesses say it put a damper on their income.

The businesses along High Street say they received no notice from anyone about the road closures or the work being done.  They say the lack of traffic during prime business hours has cost them thousands. 

Tables typically filled with customers sat empty for most of the week.  "We do a good lunch crowd business and the streets been blocked off now for three to four days and we've lost a lot of business," said Jak'n Jil Assistant Manager Jonathan Clark. 

Restaurants on Charlottesville's High Street say this week has been tough on business.  "As far as lunch was concerned we probably cut two-thirds of our lunch crowd, didn't even show up," said Angela Marrs, an employee at Tubby's restaurant.  "We have a lot of regulars and they didn't even come."

A fiber optics project put a dent in the usually smooth traffic flow, causing cars to block the entrances to the restaurants.  Many just avoided the area in general.  Businesses are upset that they were never given notice from anyone.

"Absolutely didn't give us any notice at all," Marrs said.  "We could have tried to prepare for it, cut back staff or something. We actually had to send people home early. People lost wages."

They say this time of year is tough enough without this situation.

"It hurts, I mean this time of the year things start slowing down anyway.  Holidays are getting ready to come up. People are cutting back anyway and then to add this to it, honestly, it's just ridiculous," Marrs said. 

They hope that this can be a lesson for everyone, and want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Clark said, "They just need to let somebody know next time in advance to know what's going to happen, you know, send a letter or do something or apologize."

The city says that they were not involved with the project.  We also reached out to both CenturyLink and Comcast.  CenturyLink was able to confirm that it was not their project, and we did not hear back from Comcast. 

Reported by Marcella Robertson

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