People tired of Jacksonville Beach construction

Business owners, residents wondering when closures, detours will end

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - It's been a tough year for some business owners along Jacksonville Beach -- a year-long construction project has made it hard to make ends meet.

Roads are being repaved and a new irrigation system is being added from Third Street and Beach Boulevard to Third Avenue North.

Business owners and people who live in the area are wondering if the project is close to an end.

"People are going to the closest place with the less hassle to get in rather than struggle to get down the streets," Joe's Crab Shack marketing director Aalia Desarno said.

Joe's Crab Shack is in the middle of the major construction project. Its sidewalks are inaccessible, parking is limited and the only consistent traffic comes from the beach.

The restaurant is not alone along First Street.

It's been a tough transition for the last year now. With limited access at times, some beachside customers are avoiding the construction and detours.

"I do hear a lot on the streets," Desarno said. "They are suffering and see a shortage of returns on referral coupons. I don't get those back."

Desarno said her answer to keeping sales up is creative marketing and innovative promotions.

She and other merchants in the area are worried about beachside accessibility for the upcoming beachside air show in October.

"We have the air show here. This show, it's huge, it's intense," Desarno said. "It could cause a little havoc if it's not wrapped up by the air show. But if it isn't, we'll make do with what we've got."

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