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Businesses Worry 50 Closure Will Make Customers Scarce

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

David McVeigh is the manager of Mel's Diner on Placerville's Main Street where you can get a bite to eat day and night.

"Breakfast, dinner, lunch, cheeseburgers, anything."

McVeigh says about 20% of Mel's business comes from people driving to and from Tahoe. He says he's bracing for fewer customers during the Caltrans closure.

"We're kind of worried about it just because people probably won't be traveling up 50 anymore. They'll probably be going out towards Auburn onto 80 to get up there now."

Caltrans is closing Highway 50 near Echo Summit to replace damaged and outdated rock walls.

For drivers heading to Tahoe from Sacramento, the detour begins at Power Inn Road near Sacramento State…a long way from Placerville.

But Laurel Brent-Bumb with the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce points out you can still take 50 through the foothills.

"It's important to remember that if Tahoe isn't their destination, Highway 50 is open all the way to Sierra Tahoe. Placerville is open for business."

The Highway 50 closure is scheduled to end on May 25th.

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