Businesses along 8 Mile say road construction leaves profits in disrepair

Some Detroit business owners say they've had to close for nearly two weeks because road work is blocking their entrances.

"(Gov Gretchen Whitmer) said to fix the damn roads, you need to fix everything," said Menyet Jackson. "Do it quick, but don't do everything at the same time. It's been terrible."

Jackson and her daughter went to Champs Auto Sales on Eight Mile Road but getting there was a challenge, she said.

"We had to step over construction and she stumbled with the baby," Jackson said. "I came on a Metro Lift and he couldn't drop me off."

The construction impact has forced some of the businesses there to struggle to survive, their owners claim.

"We've been in Detroit for 15 years and now it is impacting us the way that our customer base can't even come see us," said Sean Nannoshi, finance manager, Champs Auto Sales.

A family member of Sean's, Jada Nannoshi is a business owner in Ferndale who is also being impacted by road construction.

She says the main entryway on Nine Mile had been blocked off, leaving only a side street opening for coming and going,

"Twelve o'clock is my lunchtime rush," she said. "Usually we are a very, very busy location. Twelve o'clock now as you can see, there here's not much action here because of the construction."

The Michigan Department of Transportation says it has heard the concerns.

"While it is a major inconvenience, and we know that because we all drive the same roadways, once it is done it is going to be worth it," said Diane Cross of MDOT. "It's going to be easy to drive down Eight Mile, easy to access these businesses. And we're also rebuilding the driveways for these businesses at no cost to them."

MDOT officials say they keep businesses informed of all work and keep access, even if only partially, to enter and leave a business.

Some of these business owners say, since construction started along Eight Mile Road, they have seen their profits impacted.

"I can see that we are at least a 40 to 50 percent dip since everything has started," said Sean Nannoshi.

"We are balancing keeping the road open with the work that has to get done and access to businesses and residents," Cross said. "So there's a lot of factors, and we're doing our absolute best to try to keep it safe."

"So you're hurting us now - by the time you make it better, what is it going to do?" said Nannoshi.