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    Posted April 15, 2012 by
    obrienkayla
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Assignment
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Be a CNN Student News iReporter

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    Roadway Improvements Hurting Local Business

     
    Some small business owners in Central Florida are blaming a roadway improvement project for their financial woes.

    The Florida Department of Transportation completed construction on a flyover that is meant to direct traffic over a busy intersection in 2010. The roadway improvement project is located on the intersection of Colonial Drive and Semoran Boulevard in Orlando, FL.

    The project which cost nearly $65 million was a success according to Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson.

    Nearly 40,000+ drivers pass through the intersection daily according to Olson, which warranted the need for the project. In addition to the flyover, medians were installed, new traffic lights and pedestrian walkways were established.

    "We were seeing some crashes and incredible gridlock at this intersection,"Olson said.

    Construction started in 2008 and took two years to finish.
    When construction began it caused an inconvenience to drivers says local convenience store owner Saul Carillo. But according to Carillo when the project was complete business didn't improve.

    "I think the bridge was a waste of money, they know they made a mistake," Carillo said.

    Carillo says that potential customers can't see his and other small businesses from the flyover.

    "People can't see the business on this side. Since I've been here dozens of store owners have come and gone. It's sad," Carillo said.

    In an effort to fix some of these issues the City of Orlando is aiming to get customers back in the area by implementing a beautification project in the area .

    Included in with this new project will be:

    Wider sidewalks
    New Street Signs
    New Landscaping
    Crosswalk Enhancements
    New sidewalk benches
    New City Banners

    Known as The Semoran Beautification Project it is estimated to cost $24 million according to the city's website.

    Business owners in the area are hopeful this second project will bring their customers back.

    Kayla O'Brien

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