By Paul T. Choate
Sept. 21, 2012. Work recently began near the intersection of Boone Heights Drive and U.S. 321 with PF Plumbing replacing a sewer main. The project is estimated to take between 90 and 120 days to complete and will cause some traffic disruption for those traveling on Boone Heights Drive for two to three weeks.
According to Boone Public Utilities Director Rick Miller, during that two to three week period traffic will not be able to turn onto Blowing Rock Road off of Boone Heights Drive. Traffic turning onto Boone Heights Drive will not be affected. Miller also said that during a two to three day period, while a road bore is done in front of Burger King, Boone Heights Drive will likely be closed entirely.
The traffic disruption, and in particular a full closure of Boone Heights Drive, is resulting in concern among some business owners.
When asked if he expected a potential slow-down in business, Joe Cafaro, owner of Joe’s Italian Kitchen and Joe’s Jazzed Up on Boone Heights Drive, replied, “A major slow down. The same as with when they took the bridge apart back in the spring. There is no through traffic here.”
Cafaro said no one from PF Plumbing or the Town of Boone notified him about the road closures prior to work beginning and that he is concerned with potentially losing hours of operation.
Miller said the contractors released a notice to local media outlets regarding the work but did not specifically notify business owners that could potentially be affected by the road closures.
“I understand [the business owners’] frustration and by all means we don’t want to contribute to it, but we also have to maintain our water sewer system. We don’t want these sewer systems running over into our streams and that is part of what we are wanting to eliminate with this project, and we have to weigh the good with the bad,” said Miller.
Miller added that the current sewer main now being replaced has plagued the town for several years and although it is unfortunate that businesses may be impacted, replacing the sewer main had become critical.
“The road has to be closed.”
For more information on this project, contact the Town of Boone Public Utilities Department at 828-268-6250.