Downtown traffic at a snarl during road project

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

If you’re heading north on Main Street over the next few weeks, you might want to leave a little early.

Since Monday, one lane of North Main Street has been closed while Constance Road remains partly closed as the city installs an underground duct bank system near the intersection of North Main and Constance.

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But there is hope for those that have a fear of traffic jams – like nearly everyone who’s ever slipped behind the wheel of an automobile.

For those coming from Carolina Road into downtown, the official detour is from Finney Avenue to Pinner and Katherine streets to Constance, and back to North Main Street. However, there are other ways to avoid the afflicted areas.

For example, drivers can take West Washington down to Broad Street and then head back to Constance. For traffic headed toward Portsmouth Boulevard, officials suggest using East Washington Street.

One downtown business owner has been pleasantly surprised by

the traffic congestion.

&uot;Actually, today was busier than normal,&uot; said Baron’s Pub co-owner Vance McGhee on Tuesday.

&uot;We had an increase in business. It was kind of hectic getting around town for me; it took me forever to get around today, but it hasn’t hurt our business. We don’t know if it’s one day or 45 that they’re going to take up.&uot;

Perhaps Suffolk has accepted the new pattern even faster than expected, said Dennis Craff, city spokesman, Tuesday afternoon.

&uot;It’s really kind of strange, but we haven’t heard anything. It seems like everyone’s doing the best they can with it,&uot; he added,

&uot;We’ve discussed it, and we know it’s an inconvenience.

&uot;We hope people will put up with it a little longer, and that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. We hope to be done by the end of the month.&uot;