Lake City Road Construction Project Impacting Local Businesses

A major road construction project continues in a Northern Michigan town and it’s creating some trouble for businesses in the area.

Businesses in Lake City say the construction is causing drivers to go around Lake City and that means fewer people stopping into their stores.

The project along M-66 that runs through Lake City in Missaukee County has been underway since May.

This is normally one of the busiest times of the year for businesses along M-66, but with more traffic avoiding construction they’re using all the tools they can, including social media, to bring people through their doors.

A line of orange cones along a busy stretch of highway, this construction project going on for several months has drivers taking a different way around town , and away from many local businesses.

“It’s been pretty slow, traffic gets held up, but I think a lot of traffic has been going around here. I see a lot of cars going down Jennings Road. Everyone says there’s lots of signs saying there’s construction so I’m just guessing they’re thinking it’s held up and just not going through,” said Sassafrass owner Kim Redman.

Sassafrass Garden and Gifts is getting creative using social media to encourage people to stop in during the construction.

“We have a contest going on Facebook, so we’re using Facebook to draw people in, we’re having a scavenger hunt so hopefully that will get more people to drive through the construction and come here. We’ll have to keep trying to get people in here,” said Redman.

 The Wesco gas station just down the road hopes as the Fourth of July approaches drivers don’t head around Lake City, and continue to stop in on their way up North.

“There’s a lot of people who come from downstate, people who come from across the bridge, and they will always stop here no matter where they are going. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time because anywhere around it’s busy here, but people trying to find alternative routes places it’s going to take you a little bit longer,” said Assistant Manager Mark McDaniel.  

The construction project is expected to last into October.