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Businesses Hope Fix 50 Brings More Customers

  

Some restaurants and bars are hoping the Fix 50 project in Downtown Sacramento triggers an increase in business.

Brian Cofresi is the brewmaster at New Helvetia Brewing Company at the corner of Broadway and 18th Street. Broadway is a likely alternate route for local people trying to avoid the Highway 50 construction project along the WX Freeway.

"We're hoping that with all the extra traffic on Broadway we'll have extra business and people stopping by," says Cofresi, "maybe just taking a break instead of trying to fight it out with the traffic and the cars."

Cofresi says more traffic on Broadway will help with exposure for New Helvetia since the brewery doesn't have a sign that people can see from the freeway.

Restaurants and bars in downtown and midtown are also hoping people delay the evening commute.

"Downtown is open for business regardless of construction," says Lisa Martinez with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, a non-profit agency working to revitalize downtown's private sector. "If you are changing out your commute time, definitely use it as an excuse to go and explore some local businesses."

About 70,000 people work in Downtown Sacramento.

Meanwhile, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is the biggest state government office closest to the Fix 50 project along the WX stretch of Highway 50.

About 3,500 people work at the four-building campus...which is where the agency's executive offices are. It's also where the DMV holds training sessions for employees...and processes driver licenses and auto registrations.

The DMV's Armando Botello says the agency is telling staff to use alternate routes and public transportation as much as possible.

"We also have a shuttle bus that goes to and from two of the nearest light rail stations, two different lines. And we've added a run in the morning and one run in the afternoon. It brings them from the light rail station to the buildings. So yeah, that's also going to help a little bit."

Botello says some employees are telecommuting but most of the people who work at the DMV at Broadway and 24th have to be on site to perform their duties.

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