New Tampa business owners say Bruce B Downs construction is hurting business

Posted at 5:23 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 18:45:34-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Bruce B Downs business owners say the construction trucks and barriers are hurting their bottom lines. 

"it's been a very long two years," said Melissa Levering. 

Levering owns Once Upon A Child in the Pebble Creek Plaza. She said at least four businesses closed this year because of the Bruce B Downs construction project. 

"There have been a few nights where we felt we weren't going to make it to the end of the construction," said Levering, speaking about her business. 

The project happening in the front of the Pebble Creek Plaza is the fourth and final phase of the multi-million dollar project to widen Bruce B Downs from Bearss Avenue to the Pasco County line. It started at the end of 2016. Levering said that's when she started losing customers and money. 

"This is actually our busy time and we're not busy," she said. "It's been frustrating, aggravating and depressing." 

The county said the project was supposed to be completed back in July. According to the county, the workers ran into two issues: the rain over the summer, and the utility lines underground.  ABC Action News reached out to the project manager with Atkins Global, the construction company handling the project. He told us he cannot speak to the media. 

Levering and other business owners said they understand that the workers ran into issues beyond their control. 

"We understand that they want to be done as much as we do," said Levering. 

The project is now expected to be completed by the end of November. ABC Action News will keep you updated on the progress.