Metro Detroit businesses emerging from COVID restrictions now facing challenges from I-75 construction

‘You see the orange barrels all the way down and it makes people want to avoid the area like the plague’

Construction and COVID-19 crushing businesses in Metro Detroit
Construction and COVID-19 crushing businesses in Metro Detroit

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – As it struggles to emerge from COVID restrictions, Boodles Restaurant in Madison Heights is one of many on 11 Mile Road that have been devastated by the Interstate 75 construction.

The bridge to Royal Oak is gone and both exits are closed.

“We just opened up couple a months ago after this second episode with the pandemic and this is like a catastrophe,” said owner Bruno Ferguson. “You see the orange barrels all the way down and it makes people want to avoid the area like the plague.”

“Once you think you’ve got it figured out, they go and blow the bridge up,” said Joe Day, bartender at Boodles.

The only access is from John R. Road.

“I’ve had to tell everybody on the phone ‘Which way are you coming from?” Day said.

“I’m doing about 35% versus 100%,” Ferguson said.

The significant loss of business means a significant loss of tips for servers and bartenders.

”You’re supposed to be rocking Wednesday through Saturday and then hope you have a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Now you can’t even count on the busy nights,” Day said.

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About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.