Albuquerque store owner upset by Water Authority sewer work

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A grocery store owner in southeast Albuquerque says he’s fed up.

He says he is losing business because of a major project that has closed off lanes in the intersection right next to his store.

“It’s been very upsetting for me, I’ve had to borrow a little money for a short term loan to make ends meet for the first of August,” Travis Askew, Stadium Super Market Owner said, adding he has lost 30 percent in sales since work started at Avenida Cesar Chavez and Broadway in early July.

“We just suffered,” Askew said.

David Morris, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority spokesperson says they are rehabbing and replacing about 1,000 feet of sewer line along Avenida Cesar Chavez. They are also replacing some manholes and rerouting sewer lines.

“This is a very old sewer line probably 50 to 60 years old, in very bad shape and this project is part of a proactive effort to get in and replace it before it fails altogether,” Morris said.

Askew says he is not happy with how the Water Authority has handled the lane closures associated with the project.

“The whole deal was that we didn’t have an advanced notification, nobody came to see anybody about anything,” Askew said.

He says construction has made it nearly impossible for people to get to his business.

“They still don’t have access signs up in the proper places, they’ve done a better job but its not where it should be,” Askew explained.

Morris says the good news is they’re almost done with the work.

Askew says he is looking forward to the end of the project and has already seen sales improving since some access problems have been lifted.

“Since they came out and opened this up I believe on Wednesday of this week, our sales have gone up. They’re not where they’re supposed to be, but they’re not like they were,” Askew said.

“We just really thank everyone for their patience. It’s a job that has to be done. It’ll be better for everyone in the long run and it will be over soon,” Morris said.

The Water Authority says they expect to be mostly out of the intersection by Sunday. The rest of the work should be done in about a week.

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