Valley Produce frustrated by HSR project

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Construction work for California High Speed Rail is gradually changing the look of downtown Fresno. (KFSN)

Construction work for California High Speed Rail is gradually changing the look of downtown Fresno.

But a company caught in the middle of progress said business has suffered greatly due to street closures.

High Speed Rail demolition work has started on the old Dollar World site at H and Ventura.

California HSR Authority spokesperson Toni Tinoco said, "We'll need this part of the street to actually construct an underpass for the future."

A few blocks away, work on rebuilding the Tuolumne street bridge has closed off traffic in both directions on G street.

Valley Produce has been stuck in a tough spot.

The 38 year old business sells produce to local stores, restaurants and schools. But owner Penny Murray said they have lost many clients.

Murray explained, "They can't even get to us. They have a difficult time negotiating one-way streets and then when you start blocking off the different ways you can get through that makes it impossible."

Murray added it has been frustrating with all the construction work going on. "We have jack hammers going so loud we can't hear our phones."

After hours, surveillance video captured several people hanging around outside the business. Murray told us the closure of area businesses due to HSR has led to a rise in crime.

She said, "It feels like they're trying to put us out of business to accommodate what they're doing which is irresponsible."

Tinoco said the California High Speed Rail Authority understood the inconvenience.

"That's why it is so important for any business that has any concerns, maybe they're having a hard time getting their big trucks or equipment in, to contact us because we want to work with those businesses to make sure they have the access they need."

Murray has been patiently waiting for G street to re-open to traffic to make it easier to move produce.

Tinoco said it will happen soon. "That should open at the end of April."

Penny Murray will believe it when she sees it.
Related Topics:
newshigh speed railagriculturefarmingfresnoFresno - Downtown
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