• E. Colonial construction near SR-417 affecting businesses


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Construction on East Colonial Drive near the State Road 408 interchange has been causing some major traffic problems, and now some business owners are saying the road work is hurting their bottom line.

    The Florida Department of Transportation said construction might be inconvenient but it's necessary. 

    At East Colonial Liquor, the shelves are stocked but the aisles were free of customers when Channel 9 was there Friday.

    "(I am) losing probably $10,000 a month revenue," said store owner Atit Patel. "Because most of the people try to avoid getting on Colonial."

    Patel said it's been so bad that he had to cut some workers' hours.

    The construction is part of a road-widening project, but the closures are causing gridlocked traffic, something that has pushed away customers like John Bonczek.

    "I used to go to this Aldi and McDonald's over here a lot, and now I'm going to Wendy's on Alafaya," he said.

    FDOT's construction won't finish until winter 2016.

    "Hurry it up and get it over with," said Patel.

    FDOT has not said whether the affected businesses would be eligible for state money to offset losses.

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