Thomas Drive Construction

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Thomas Drive is getting a facelift; improvements on the street can already be seen as the flyover project looms closer, but it's down the road closer to the beach that has business owners a little concerned.

Susan Bryant owns the Treasure Island Sunspot Gas and Convenience Store at 3829 Thomas Drive.

"Well, this past Thursday and Friday they were working in front of Hamilton's and traffic was backed up all the way here. I had customers complaining they could not get in and out."

Although the roadwork has not reached the steps of her business, its effects were noticed when construction began just down the road. Bryant says she appreciates the road improvements, but now is not a good time with 70 percent of the business in March belonging to spring breakers.

"This next week is supposed to be one of our busiest weeks with Spring Break. I don't have a problem with progress, but it seems like they could have done it in the wintertime or possibly at nighttime."

Down the road at Adventures at Sea near the intersection of Thomas Drive and North Lagoon Drive, the season is just starting. Manager Fred Wilcox says it's important for customers to be able to get to the marina.

"If they can't get here to get our boats out on time, it's going to make everyone get behind. Everybody's going to get agitated and the next time they come back to town, they probably won't come to us."

Bryant agrees, "A lot of the major schools will be out this week. It's like, if we don't do it this week, we probably won't do it because they're all out this week."

Several other business owners who did not want to be on camera say they appreciate the improvement, but they also want the spring break business while they're here.