MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - A stretch of Route 61 in Muhlenberg Township remains closed due to a water main break, and it is now having an impact on nearby businesses.
Ray's Original O'Grady's restaurant is one of many booming businesses in the area, but with the existing detour in place at Bellevue Avenue, managers said they are losing business.
"It has been terrible ever since Tuesday," said Warren Taney, the restaurant's manager.
Tuesday morning is when a water main broke beneath the railroad bridge near Reading Crest Avenue. Crews immediately started repairs, but had to close the road from Reading Crest to Witman Road.
Northbound drivers are being detoured at Bellevue Avenue and southbound at Tuckerton Road, and for businesses in between the detour, that means big trouble.
Taney said business is down 50 percent, and the frustration is mounting after there have been several water main breaks on that stretch of Route 61 over the last few months.
"I am not saying I want the road closed for six months so they can repair it properly, but you would think they would do something besides just putting a Band-Aid on it," said Taney.
Until the road is completely reopened, Taney is afraid business will continue to suffer, so he has one message for drivers.
"We are open," said Taney.
Although a detour is in place, many of the businesses are still open and operating.
Reading Area Water Authority officials said they have fixed the broken line, but still have to fix the road, so it will not be reopened until Monday.
They also said they are replacing some lines farther north on Route 61 in the construction zone, but not in the area of the water main breaks.
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