Cowan Road Detour Causes Inconvenience

Construction is causing some frustration on a normally busy section of Cowan Road. Cowan is closed this week between Pass Road and Pine Street.

Work crews are replacing utility lines in preparation for widening the road.

The detour signs are clearly posted. But that didn't stop a number of drivers from instinctively trying to turn north onto Cowan from Pass Road.

If the signs don't get their attention, the heavy equipment will. Work crews replacing utility lines are carefully digging around several underground obstacles.

"Old sewer lines, old water lines, old gas lines, telephone lines, storm drains. Many of these things are still active and have to be carefully looked at not to break or disrupt anybody's business," said contractor spokesman, Bill McLaughlin.

The road closing itself is disruption enough for nearby businesses. McDonald's posted its own detour signs to direct hungry customers.

"Customers are somewhat confused. We put up some signs and tried to direct them in and out of the restaurant. But we think the future's coming and hopefully it's going to help us in the future," said restaurant spokesman, Jeff Descher.

Baywood Campground opened an alternate driveway to accommodate its customers during the roadwork. But for many of the larger campers and trailers, the tight turn is a difficult detour.

The campground has already lost business.

"We have lost customers. We lost a few yesterday trying to come in off the road and looking for a place for the night. And they're not able to get in. And they as me where the next closest campground is. And we have to send them down the road," said campground manager, Rebecca Fayles.

Bill Thomas ran into the roadwork while trying to leave Baywood Campground. But the minor inconvenience didn't seem to bother the Oklahoma visitor.

"Naw, I don't mind it. I guess if people were going to a job they would mind it. But in my case, I'm just going to tootle home and take it easy."

Taking it easy is good advice for drivers or customers coping with the Cowan Road detour.