Roundabout at The Falls creates more traffic through shopping center

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Two months ago, a temporary roundabout was installed at The Falls shopping center in Bristol, Va.

The roundabout is a detour while construction workers widen Lee Highway.

When the roundabout was created, it caused some problems for drivers.

"In the beginning it was kind of confusing for most residents," said Cabela's senior floor manager, Rashid Elkhiat.

"When it first started there were some quirks. We had two right turn lanes, which caused a little bit of confusion," said Bart Poe, the Interim Director of Community Development for Bristol.

But now, drivers have gotten the hang of the detour.

Elkhiat says it's increasing the flow of traffic through The Falls.

"About 2,000 cars on average a month are coming through our parking lot," said Elkhiat.

He says 25,000 cars came through the shopping center this month, which is 2,000 more than last year at this time.

"At the end of December, we had a meeting with Lowe's executives. We sat down at the meeting and the first thing they said was how pleased they were with the way traffic was flowing and the way things were going," said Poe.

But for Cabela's, even though there's more traffic coming through The Falls, that doesn't automatically mean more business.

"Most of the drivers are just coming through to get to work, or going to exit 5 and 7," said Elkhiat.

He's hoping once more stores open in the center, more shoppers will follow.

One new business just finalized its plans to start building.

"The city got the final plans and assignment plans for Hobby Lobby. The building is moving forward. They say they do a very expedited building process, so hopefully we'll see some Hobby Lobby customers soon," said Poe.

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