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Water Street Businesses Bracing for Six-Month Street Closure

LOWER MANHATTAN—Some small business owners along Water Street are preparing for six months of headaches due to a massive water main project — the latest in a series of road construction projects to saddle the area.

A one-block stretch between Dover Street and Peck Slip was closed starting Tuesday until the spring of 2013 due to installation of the main, forcing traffic to bypass the area.

“We receive products and ship products, and we do this by van and by truck,” said Grace Clerihew, owner of the catering business Table Tales, at 265 Water St. “When shipments cannot access our store, that’s a real problem.”

Alycia Naylor, the manager of Bridge Cafe on the corner of Water and Dover Streets, said she also anticipates that the upcoming project will hurt business because of inconveniences generated by the construction.

“What they’ve done so far has really affected us,” she said, noting that the restaurant lost water twice during the last two months due to other construction in the area, and was forced to close for lunch. “The rest of the street got temporary water, but we went completely without.”

Yet Robin Wyatt, 52, who lives on Water Street across from Bridge Cafe, said the roadwork will be worth the trouble.

“It would have been nice if they could have cleared out the construction during the weekend, but I think it will be worth it,” said Wyatt, who moved into his apartment in April.

Clerihew added that despite all of the inconveniences—including having to take her garbage down the street to be hauled off rather than leaving it on her front door step—she said the project is for the betterment of the community.

“Everyone has to give a little here and a little there,” she said. “And this is New York. New Yorkers can handle anything.”