Cowan Road Widening Nearing An End?

Hancock Bank says the renaming of its Cowan Road branch to the Handsboro Financial Center is a two fold celebration. "This is not only a celebration of Handsboro's heritage but sort of a celebration of the completion of the road as well, or the near completion," says the banks Communications Manager, Paul Maxwell.

Cowan Road widening north of Pass Road is finished, although the northbound lanes are open to two lane traffic only. Maxwell says the bank wanted a Cowan Road location because of better access the wider road provides. "Even though the orange cones were somewhat of a challenge for us as far as customers getting to the branch, we realized in the end it would mean a good thing for the entire city and community."

The owner of the neaby dry cleaners agrees. Jim Harrell says seeing the potential of future profits meant looking beyond the torn up road. "We had a lot of loyal customers and they knew that sooner or later that things would get better.  It looks a hundred percent better. We're very happy that it has progressed like it has. We just wish it had been sooner," says Harrell.

Soon is a word Harrell's southbound neighbors wish they could use. The lanes in front of the Hairitage Salon and Spa are still closed and barrels block the entrance. The employees say the ongoing work drives customers away. Spa Owner Nadina Pearce says, "I've been here for about a year and I don't have any walk-in clients. We have regular business as far as the hair salon. Thank God for them." "Our sign is hidden, you can't see us you cannot see us driving down Cowan Road. It's a disaster," says salon manager, Marissa Pierre.

Transportation commissioner Wayne Brown says he understands the business owners frustration. He says the Cowan Road work could finally wrap up by the end of the year.