O’Reilly’s employee: I’m gonna miss this place
Construction on Main Street in Claremont is currently detouring traffic to Sullivan Street via Union Street during work hours 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays for the duration of the project.
Workers at Milton O'Reilly's auto parts store said “It's never been this slow before,” as they watched heavy equipment tear up the street. Although businesses along Main Street are accessible to determined customers and employees, even when mini-dozers and backhoes aren't rumbling around and pounding the dirt, the street from Leo's One Stop to the Tumble Inn diner has had all the blacktop removed and for now remains a dirt road. During violent rains last week sinkholes even collapsed beneath the front tires of some vehicles attempting to navigate the torn-up stretch of street.
Shannon Heath, manager of O'Reilly's, said business was slow, but now it's dropped off completely. “That truck sinking in the road last week really discouraged people,” said Heath.
However, O'Reilly's is moving at the end of August to 323 Washington Street, consolidating with a sister store. The move isn't caused by the Main Street construction, said Heath.
Stephen Page, former manager of O'Reilly's, has been working at the store since 1991. Back then it was Bond Auto Parts. “I'm gonna miss this place,” said Page.
-- GLYNIS HART