Cecil Ashburn shutdown impacts business owners

Business owners said they're excited about the improvements coming to Cecil Ashburn Drive.

Posted: Jan 5, 2019 7:17 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 7:10 AM

Businesses are bracing for the shutdown of Cecil Ashburn Drive in Huntsville as crews get ready to widen and upgrade the high-traffic road.

Starting Monday, drivers will have to find detours connecting Hampton Cove and Jones Valley. The detours are expected to last until the end of the year.

WAAY 31 spoke with business owners in Jones Valley. They said most of their customers from Hampton Cove come by Cecil Ashburn Drive. With the road shut down, some stores are opening other locations that are convenient for customers. 

"I'm trying to keep my customers on both sides of the mountain happy," said Chris Shiner.

Chris Shiner owns Yogurt Mountain on both sides of Cecil Ashburn Drive. When he heard about the road project, he knew it would impact his business.

"They're not going to drive the extra ten miles it's going to take to come over here to get a cup of yogurt, I would think," Shiner said.

A year and a half ago, Shiner decided to open another location in Hampton Cove, that way customers won't have to fight traffic to get to the Jones Valley location. He's already making plans with his employees.

"Half of my employees live on that side of the mountain and half live on this side of the mountain. It's worked out, with how we're going to schedule people and I've had to hire new employees to off set that and make it work well for everybody," Shiner said.

Other business owners said they're concerned with customers having to take an alternate route.

Sonia Pruett of Bruster's Ice cream said they're adding a satellite location.

"That's to help our Hampton Cove customers and some of our customers that are over the Governors Drive end, to be able to access us without having to come from around the mountain," said Sonia Pruett

Business owners said they're excited about the improvements coming to Cecil Ashburn Drive.

"I think it'll help as the communities here are continuing to grow and expand. It needs to be done and needs to be fixed," Shiner said.

"It will help in the way of just increasing traffic flow," Pruett said.

Shriner also said when Grissom High School moved to its new campus, this hurt business at Yogurt Mountain, but with the Cecil Ashburn shutdown, they might actually see a surge at their Hampton Cove store.

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