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Local Business Sees Impact From Selmon Expressway Extension Closure

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - It's only been a few days since the Selmon Expressway extension was closed and at the Canopy Road Café, the manager says he's already seen a decrease in the number of customers walking through the door.

"I can also see it being a little bit of a problem because people are so focused on getting through this area in order to get wherever you're going as quickly as possible that they aren't going to be looking around or more focused on traffic," said manager, Bryan Buckenheimer.

Buckenheimer is the manager at Canopy Road Café in Tampa and says ever since the Selmon Expressway extension was temporarily closed on Sunday, he's seen a change in business.

"There was a little bit of a dip," said Buckenheimer.

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority states crews were doing a routine check when they noticed that two steel strand wires had become loose from their anchors and officials say although the problem can be fixed without shutting down the road, to be cautious, they are closing the area.

"You would avoid Gandy Bridge altogether and take I-275 so that might kind of repel people from coming to this area," said Buckenheimer.

Buckenheimer says he's not only concerned about his restaurant, but also about his drive to work.

"I'm going to have to deal with all the lights and the congestion that everybody is going to have to deal with," said Buckenheimer.

He says his commute usually is about 35 minutes and now it'll be more than an hour with a new route.

"35 minutes and that's with the expressway but it's probably going to take me close to an hour," said Buckenheimer.

And as gas prices rise, he knows with a longer drive, he's going to have to spend even more to get to and from work.

"It makes life a little more inconvenient but it's what we have to do in order to stay safe," said Buckenheimer.

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