Local businesses impacted by I-77 construction - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local businesses impacted by I-77 construction

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MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

The long-awaited construction on I-77 is officially underway.

With that comes slower traffic between mile markers 1 and 9 on the interstate, and heavier traffic on route 460 between Bluefield and Princeton. 

And it may just be the beginning of the road work, but commuters traveling along those roads are already feeling the impact. 

"It was just slow as everything, and a lot of congestion. We were just creeping along for about, probably 45 minutes or so," said Hugh Fulcher, a North Carolina native traveling through. 

But even though backed-up traffic can be frustrating, the new path is helping out some local businesses. 

Gary Riffe, the manager at Beef Jerky Outlet in Princeton, says his store is already reaping the benefits. 

"We are a company that thrives off of traffic, so the increase in traffic has really helped us today. We can see an uptick. So we're excited about the bypass coming right by our store. Otherwise they'd just zoom right by on I-77," he said. 

Gary also says that he's seen customers come in from far and wide that usually wouldn't even know his store was there.

"I've seen people from Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and that's just today. Also Canada. So we're getting people from all over," Gary said. 

If the first day of construction is any sign of things to come, you can expect to see a lot of frustrated drivers, but also quite a few happy business owners. 
 

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