ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah News) Nearly two dozen businesses are preparing to relocate for a major road expansion project along Bluff Street.
With the deadline to move at the end of May, some business owners aren’t yet sure where they will relocate.
“It’s hard because this location has been here since 1991. There are a lot of people that know us here,” Danielle Bundy said.
While scooping ice-cream, Bundy spent the last year preparing to relocate Baskin-Robbins’ to Bloomington. She is among 21 businesses owners forced to move out of the way of the $51 million expansion project.
UDOT plans to widen the five lane road to seven lanes, while improving the flow of traffic and adding sidewalks.
“You just deal with it. There is nothing you can do about it,” Bundy said.
“This corridor is a very busy corridor throughout the day and it is projected to get even busier with the amount of travel and growth is projected to receive,” UDOT Region 4 Director Rick Torgerson said.
Business owners expect their buildings to be torn down in June, with road construction starting at the end of this year.
UDOT is spending $17 million for the properties and business relocation costs.
“We know economics is very important and keeping people moving is also very important. We have to find a way to strike that difficult balance,” Torgerson said.
“It doesn’t feel like it needs to be happening now,” Jack Lancaster said.
Lancaster doesn’t know where he’ll take Irmita’s, yet. Expensive rent and few commercial properties make relocating the restaurant difficult.
“I don’t know where I’m going to be. But I do know within 30 days I’ll know where I’m going to be. But right now I don’t,” Lancaster said.
While relocating is inconvenient, several business owners tell me they say the state’s financial help to relocate is fair.
The project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2018.