VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Problems for Southern Boulevard businesses began in July and August when construction started to rev up on the Witchduck widening project. Since then business owners say life hasn’t been the same, and business hasn’t’ been the same either.
“Our roads have been closed for six weeks, consistently preventing customers from coming in. We have had flood issues,” says business owner Alex Salinas.
It’s not just Salinas, it’s Cara Tinsley too at the Virginia Beach Rock Gym, “60 kids had to get off the buses in the middle of the street and they had to walk through a construction site to get to us … it’s left a crater in the middle of the parking lot that fills with water.”
Cars go through standing water all day long. One business owner says the construction has caused flooding in Dennis Kapuchuck’s auto and marine repair business.
“There used to be a ditch here, you could hide a Volkswagen in it, and it would drain all the water from this entire area,” Kapuchuck said. The construction apparently took away that ditch, which Kapuchuck says led to flooding.
“Right here you can still see it. It’s still wet. Everything on the ground is just soaking wet.” After Kapuchuck complained he says just Tuesday they created a new smaller ditch to help with drainage.
Salinas is so upset he wants to be compensated for his losses. Virginia Beach Risk Management wrote him back telling him to contact the contractor, Kevcor Contracting Corporation. Superintendent Dennis Hubel met 10 On Your Side and Salinas outside Salinas’ business, “We push on them (the city) on your behalf we don’t want the situation either it’s not good for anybody.”
Apparently Virginia Beach Risk Claims had a change of heart, sending Salinas another letter telling him how to file a claim to be compensated if he qualifies.
“I’m trying to get asphalt down on this road as quick as I can,” Salinas said.
Hubel hopes the issues on Southern Boulevard are fixed by Christmas.
Virginia Beach Public Works sent 10 On Your Side this statement:
Virginia Beach Public Works had a series of public information meetings before the Witchduck II project began. The purpose of those meetings was to give the public and local businesses the opportunity to review our plans and give input – including any part of the project’s plans that they felt might impose a hardship on them.
We do sympathize with the problems citizens and businesses encounter with large projects whose purpose is to improve our roads and streets. Most of these jobs are on such a scale that it is almost impossible to avoid any inconveniences. Unfortunately, as the maxim states: If you want an omelet, you have to crack some eggs.
We do inform any business or citizen who feels that they have been affected negatively in any way to contact the Risk Management department for the City and discuss their concerns with them.