Drivers, business owners happy to see Palm Bay Road reopen

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Palm Bay Road is open again to traffic Wednesday morning after crews completed work on a stormwater drain well ahead of schedule and under budget, according to Brevard County officials.
 
Work on the project began in early April after workers discovered a stormwater pipe beneath Palm Bay Road at Minton Road that was nearly collapsed.
 
Workers had to replace the steel drain pipe.
 
The work was initially scheduled to be completed June 11 and cost as much as $850,000, officials said.
 
Project officials said the work was completed at a cost of around $600,000.
 
Officials said around 75,000 motorists used that roadway each day.
 
The road closure has been a headache for area drivers.  
 
"Oh, it was a pain, honestly," said driver Matthew McLeod.
 
McLeod said he was happy to learn the project was completed a month ahead of schedule.
 
"I didn't think they'd finish early. I thought it would be later if anything," said McLeod.
 
Area business owners said they are relieved the road is open again.
 
"We were drastically reduced in car counts and gross net sales," said business owner Chris Coen.
 
Coen said business at his Pit Stop Oil Change dropped so much he was forced lay off one worker and cut the hours of another.
 
"I'm happy that it's reopened and we're ready to get back to business as usual," said Coen.
 
Coen said he was also happy to learn the county was able to save $200,000 by finishing repairs early. He said that now he would like to see the savings spread among businesses hurt by construction, "To pay for some of the things we suffered."
 
Officials said good weather and few delays contributed to the early completion of the project.