Reporting Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Efforts to repair a busted water pipe on Third Street here in Old City have been underway for more than a year.
If you’ve walked down the area of Third Street between Market and Chestnut Street, you’ve probably seen orange cones, bulldozers and road blocks. Business owners on the block say- they’ve tried to be understanding, but they are sick of the view.
“They’ve tried very hard to clean it up- but it’s just unfortunate,” say Susan McKee, owner of Old City Flowers at 31 South Third Street. She says her business is largely based on Internet and phone orders, but delivering flowers to customers is made more difficult because of the construction.
“My driver’s frustrated with it and we’ve already had two flat tires,” she says.
Timothy Rissell manages Farmacia Restaurant and says the construction has impacted customer flow, but they’ve come up with creative ways to attract customers.
“We decided to poke fun at the construction so we came up with specialty cocktails for the month of July,” he says. “The cocktails we came up with were the Demolition Man, the Busted Pipe and the Bulldozer.”
The situation for Selva Path who owns ABI Quick Shop at 48 South 3rd Street, is much more serious. He sells tourist souvenirs and says the construction has killed his foot traffic and devastated his bottom line.
“70 percent of my business is gone,” says Path. “I am struggling to pay my rent. I’m having problems with my landlord.”
Plath says he opened his store in 2008 and business was good until the construction began in fall of last year. Now, he’s just trying to hang on long enough to fix his financial woes.
“The damage is done,” he says. “My two bank accounts are closed, business accounts closed. I owe my landlord, PECO. I just want things to go back to normal.”
The Water Department says the repairs to the pipe were more complicated than originally anticipated. PECO and PGW were brought in and while the project it winding down it’s unclear exactly when it will be complete.