Friday, June 14, 2024

Businesses rejoice as city re-opens Messer Airport Highway

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – You can now drive on Messer Airport Highway without the risk of flooding your vehicle. This after the city of Birmingham announced they have re-opened the popular thoroughfare after pumping all the water off the road.

While this is great for travelers, it is absolutely massive for business owner’s bottom lines.

Since Messer Airport Highway has re-opened, customers have already returned to Sarris Restaurant and owner George Sissa didn’t mince words when asked how important this was for his business.

“It will keep me from going in to bankruptcy,” said Sissa.

He says he feared not only for his business but his employees.

“I am telling it like it is. My business has dropped 70%. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that out. It has been like that for nine and a half months,” said Sissa.

He says before the road was closed, flooding was still an issue. So to see it like it is now, with cars rushing by, means a great deal to the restaurant owner.

“It was a blessing to see no water, the barricades gone, the blockades gone and it was passable. I mean that was just like day light,” said Sissa.

Sissa says he is both proud and thankful that the city took action to re-open the road. Still, city leaders stress the pump is a temporary solution, and that more will be done in the years ahead to tackle the underground leak.

“That is going to be a multi-year, multi-owner project that we are involved with. So it is going to take a while before the long term plan is complete on that,” said Birmingham Director of Communications Rick Journey.

This temporary fix cost the city $65,000, but Sissa says the effort means a lot to all those around the popular road.

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