They are frustrated with the closure that started Monday, saying it’s affecting their business.
For 24 years, Gulf Coast Custom Wheels has been in business on Springhill Avenue. But right now, traffic is causing issues.
“It’s affecting business so bad I might have to lay off employees. Look at my shop, it’s empty,” said Mike Loewen, a co-owner of Gulf Coast Custom Wheels. “We usually have cars, a full shop this time of year.”
They say the time between Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is when the road closed, and Mardi Gras is their busiest time of year.
“Last year at this time, I think we were around 13 thousand this time of the week, and now we’re at around 2,000,” said Steven Loewen, a co-owner of Gulf Coast Custom Wheels.
The city announced the closure last week. The recommended detour for the project is I-65.
But the owners at Gulf Coast custom wheels say many people are creating makeshift detours.
“It’s all kind of chaos,” said Mike. “They’re all pulling through our lots and going down Durant Street and circling around. It’s a lot of chaos.”
People who live on Durant Street say the traffic starts around 3:00 p.m. and lasts until 6:00 p.m. in the evening.
The city said the closure would last upwards of 10 days but Gulf Coast Custom wheels worry it will last longer.
“This is one of the busiest streets in all of Mobile,” said Steven. “Imagine if they did it to Airport Boulevard or Dauphin Street.”
Gulf Coast Custom Wheels is asking for the city to step in and help with the traffic issues.