September 18, 2010

SHOCKER: Economic stimulus turns into hindrance in Sevier County. “Businesses that boomed a year ago now are struggling for survival because a gauntlet of concrete barricades, orange barrels and confusing detours generated by the project are obstacles for tourists, according to local business owners. One fast-food restaurant that depended on its visibility and accessibility from the highway suffered a major drop in profits after concrete barricades and piles of rubble blocked the store’s main entrance and made its sign difficult to see. . . . However, only one on-site construction worker has been hired since September, confirmed Tennessee Department of Transportation Project Manager Jennifer Stone, while local retailers have had to cut back staffing and decrease work hours because of disruption from road construction.”

This story’s from back at the beginning of the summer, but it may explain why all that stimulus spending hasn’t translated into much progress. . . .