Fishtown businesses upset but understanding as street closures continue

Andrew Kramer
October 29, 2018 - 10:57 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Water Department is now saying road closures will continue for "upwards of one month" following an Oct. 18 water main break along Girard Avenue in Fishtown.

The detours have taken a toll on many businesses in the area, including 3 J's Food Market.

"We're down for like 40 percent to 50 percent of our income," said manager Ray Tamaka. "Bad things happen, what are you going to do, right? We just wait."

His store is located right in the heart of the closure, which currently stretches from East Girard Avenue and Marlborough Street to Girard and Frankford Avenues, as is Don's Auto & Truck Repair where Henry Baranowski works.

"We get a couple calls a day from the customers that were scheduled that they try to figure out how to get to us," he told KYW Newsradio, "so we have to describe which streets to go down, which streets they can't go down."

RELATED: Water main break floods Fishtown

In a letter to residents, the Water Department wrote that "this traffic pattern will remain in place until repairs are made and the road can be safely open." 

Baranowski called the area "convoluted" at the moment.

Fishtown road closures will continue for "upwards of one month."
Andrew Kramer / KYW Newsradio

"Signs aren't the best around here," he said. "I can also say that our drive cycles for testing the vehicles we're working on has gotten a little bit difficult."

Both he and Tamaka did say they are happy with the Water Department's decision to set the detours up so that smaller side streets nearby don't get congested with traffic.

But as for the closures, which will likely be in effect until Thanksgiving at the earliest, "it's definitely depressing at the very least," said Baranowski.

The Water Department said they are working to finish the repairs "as quickly as possible," and that they appreciate everyone's patience.