PERRY (WJRT) - (08/07/17) - Getting around the Shiawassee County community of Perry is challenging. A railroad crossing repair project by MDOT has closed a portion of M-52. Workers put up the barricades Monday morning. The repair project has effectively cut the town in two.
There's no easy way to get from the north half of the city to the south half. A posted detour will take you several miles out of the way.
"We met a gentleman there and he said he tried to walk through and they wouldn't let him through walking either," said Bruce Ullery of Tucson, Arizona.
Drivers are ignoring the signs and having to turn around when they come up on the barricades. Businesses south of the railroad tracks will be more affected by the reconstruction project than those on the north side. That's because much of the traffic in town comes from I-69 or Owosso to the north.
"As long as they follow the detour signs, they should be OK to get into town," said Moriah Smith, of Swan Creek Candle Company.
"Our business is a lot of them traveling M-52," said Lori Johnson, of Total Resale.
The detour from M-52 is Lansing Road west to Beardslee Road south to Bath Road east to M-52. Business owners on the south side are worried motorists will get discouraged and not make the effort to come to them.
"I know there was some concern about people not wanting to use the detour and not being able to make it into town," Smith said.
"We didn't give up but, yeah, you could give up," Ullery said.
Total Resale has two stores on the south side.
"We'll live through it, but it's not good," Johnson said.
Swan Creek Candle has a buy one, get another candle half off sale during the project. Total Resale says they might try something like that too.
The project is supposed to wrap up by Aug. 18. For those who live there, that date can't come soon enough.