Waterbury Businesses Impacted By I-84 Construction

Every commuter who travels on Interstate 84 in Waterbury has come to expect the sight of equipment on all sides, showing major construction still underway. 

While it can be frustrating for drivers, the idea of an interstate in progress for four more years is causing concern for some businesses along its path. 

"One of my big issues is my staff. They're not getting enough hours. Labor is cut down 10 percent to 15 percent, and I am worried about them making their money," Amanda Leo, the general manager for Nardelli's on Plank Road, said. 

Leo said it's unclear if the sporadic business has been from customers being away for summer vacation or the construction, but business has already begun picking up. 

Since many don't want to endure gridlock during peak travel times, it's also changing when customers arrive. 

"Our hours completely flip-flopped. Lunch used to be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., now it's 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.," Leo said. 

Other restauraants along the 2.7 mile construction zone said they've noticed the same thing. Restaurants said an added perk is they're getting additional customer traffic from construction crews. 

The $330 million project began last year and is scheduled to be completed by June 2020. The plan is to add a third lane, shoulders in both directions of I-84 and to add safety improvements. 

Officials from the Department of Transportation said the construction is already months ahead of schedule and businesses hope the final result is a good one. 

"We're really eager to see the end result. We see it's going to bring a lot of new business in Waterbury and hopefully keeps ours flourishing," Leo said. 

Contact Us