Businesses North of Gaylord Voice Concern About Potential I-75 Shutdown

Northern Michigan businesses are used to seeing bigger crowds on Labor Day but with the potential highway shutdown of I-75 north of Gaylord, it’s leaving businesses in Cheboygan County with bigger questions.

“Well everybody upset because no one knows what’s going to happen,” Sea Shell City Owner Leslie Earl, said.

It’s a confusing time for some local business owners, a potential freeway shutdown looms over their heads. Some are still trying to figure out how they are going to staff.

“I have it staffed up for it being really busy but at this point in time the way it looks, I’m going to have hardly any customers. I don’t know whether to have six or eight women here working, or just tell them to stay home,” Earl added.

Leslie says if the highway does get shutdown on Monday, it will have drastic effects.

“It will be devastating. I don’t know whether to even open, there’s going to be no northbound traffic whatsoever for 60 miles before the bridge, so I’ll have nothing for my employees to do. Other than cost me money because I’m going to have no customers,” Earl explained.

Labor Day Weekend is normally one many up north businesses count on.

“It keeps us afloat, this is how we make a living and winter time is usually a dire period so we need it,” Alice Restaurant’s James Miller said.

James is hopeful he will still be busy, but he’s keeping a close eye.

“I don’t think it will honestly but its hard saying, time will tell right?” Miller added.

A highway shutdown is still not a definite, MDOT and Michigan State Police say they will monitor traffic throughout the day on Monday to make determination.