Transportation Minister Steven Myers is accepting full responsibility for the poor timing of construction on the Montague waterfront.
“I signed off on it, but had I known it was going to be right there at the waterfront, it would have been moved to the fall,” Mr Myers said.
The owner of The Station Cafe was blindsided last week when construction at the bottom of Patrick Street cut off much of the access for customers to her Montague waterfront business.
“I know it is very important to get infrastructure done but not in the middle of tourism season,” Louise Verluen said.
She had no warning the construction was going to take place smack dab in the middle of her busy eight week season.
Looking back at sales this time last year, she sees a huge difference.
Construction is ongoing on the street to upgrade the storm sewer system.
Three years ago an extreme rain event washed out a swath of pavement at the entrance to the marina.
At that time there was no damage to the storm sewers, but Mr Myers said installing larger capacity units now could help avoid another washout.
On Tuesday access to the parking lot adjacent to the waterfront businesses was cut off for the second time.
The same scenario took place a week ago when construction began.
Initially the one way traffic on Station Street in front of the marina was also impaired.
Cars were attempting to turn around and exit the wrong way on a one way street for a time before allowances were made to let traffic through the construction site, said Ms Verleun
“Normally this time of year my tables are full and now I am losing money, “ she added. She estimates a 60 per cent revenue loss on the first day when no warnings were given.
Since then the project manager has been keeping her informed.
Ms Verleun said she certainly appreciates being in the know, but she also wonders how she is going to get back the lost revenue.
The marina boat slip was also blocked.
Tom Donahue, manager of the Marina, said they were notified of the work the week before.
He said it was a slight inconvenience when access to the slip was closed and fuel trucks were unable to deliver.
That was a weekday.
“If it was Saturday or Sunday it could have been a different story,” Mr Donahue said.
Mr Myers expects Tuesday was the last day complete access would be cut off and for the remainder of the project he assures traffic will flow as close to normal as possible.