Local Businesses Give Their Take on Ross Clark Circle Expansion

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The Ross Clark Circle expansion is a far ways off, with AL-DOT planning to start in 2016.

The expansion project includes making the area between Bauman Drive and HWY 231 North into a six lane highway.

Since the road-work doesn't start for another couple of years, local business owners aren't sure what to think just yet.

How would you describe driving on the circle?

"Headache, it's pretty tough during lunch to get across over here in this area. During the times when people are going back and forth to the beach it's pretty bad,” Owners of Dove Christian Supply, Yvonne & Pete McCollough said.

"I think you've got to be very cautious but it's never been a problem for me to get around on the circle,” Owner of Wilson Jewelers, George Wilson said.

Dove Christian Supply and Wilson Jewelers have been doing business on the circle for more than three decades.

"From a drivers standpoint it's long over-due. From a business stand point it's going to be a big headache,” Pete McCollough said.

"I think that it'll probably help with accidents but I think it could be a deterrent to businesses,” Wilson said.

Although traffic can be congested on the circle, both businesses say this road work could cause that traffic to detour somewhere else.

"I think it will deter them for a while, I don't know how long it's going to take but if they really need something maybe they'll get used to it and come but it's going to hurt business,” Yvonne McCollough said.

There's also worry that the roadwork could make their parking lots more dangerous.

"We have a real problem now with people cutting through the shopping center right now and I think that'll probably increase as the circle gets the work done,” Wilson said.

The long-time business owners say they'll just have to wait and see what the future holds.

"That's all we can do, we can't stop progress and I know we need help on the circle but it's going to be tough,” Yvonne McCollough said.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going to all work out I'm sure it'll work out better for the long run,” Wilson said.

Some of the improvements could include traffic light locations moving and changes to the medians in the area.

Tomorrow Dothan City Commissioners will vote on approving the project at their regularly scheduled meeting.