Central Point construction slowing down traffic and business

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

The East Pine sidewalk widening project in Central Point is a causing trouble for businesses.

Christine Wines and Blake Sumner, the sushi chefs at Zen Zen Sushi and Teriyaki are having to look for ways to stay busy.

"Yeah the whole side of the road has been torn up for quite some time. It was a pit of gravel -- not too inviting," said Sumner.

Luckily now contractors are in the paving stages, but unfortunately for Zen Zen, their sushi clock is ticking pretty slowly.

"Time dilation, you know if it's busy, time goes faster," said Sumner.

However, judging by the empty tables at Zen Zen, looks like Sumner is in for some long days.

"We haven't had much business in the morning, evening's decent once the construction stops but it's probably reduced our business by half over the last month," said Sumner.

And even the fact that some parking has opened up along the street, Sumner says customers are still shying away from the area.

"It's been a month you know takes about 28 days to establish a habit so I think everyone has it in their mind they can't get here," said Sumner.

And when anyone does brave the construction, Wines doesn't waste any time.

But still just a couple of sushi roles, and then it's back to watching the sushi clock.

"And now back to just standing and waiting for something else to do," said Wines.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Once the construction does wrap up, East Pine will have widened sidewalks, new traffic signals, decorative lighting and street trees.

The City of Central Point says the improvements will help the appeal downtown are aid business by allowing for outdoor dining.

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