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Barber blames construction delays for cutting into business

Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 22:33:21-04

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — NIne years ago, Dan Datkuliak left his job as an assistant high school principal to chase his dream job.

"I went to barber college, built a barber shop," Datkuliak said.

Opened two years ago, Barber Dan's is located in Canton Township on Route 800, a section of road that is under construction. Unexpected project delays are causing frustration and a loss of money for Datkuliak.

He estimates business is down about 70% in recent weeks because heavy equipment is blocking his "open" sign and 32nd Street, which leads to his driveway, is often closed during the work.

He also said spray-painted "BARBER OPEN" signs only blend in with the construction site. He blames ODOT for not communicating delays and scheduling plans.

"No one can visibly see that there's a barber shop here," Datkuliak said. "It's frustrating to say the least. If someone would just shake my hand, look me in the eye and say, 'Hey look, I know this sucks, but let's get through this together.' That's the biggest key is communicate."

The four-block $1.7 million road widening project was supposed to be completed this month, but now construction may not wrap up until the spring.

The problems started after crews, digging up the road, found fiber optic lines higher than expected.

"A lot of times with these fiber optic lines, they do move. They elevate up and down as they're intertwining," said ODOT spokesman Justin Chesnic.

Chris Nichols, a Canton Township Trustee, also expressed frustration with the delays and questioned communication by ODOT.

"Even our road department wasn't familiar with when were they going to start, what were they going to do, how long was it going to take," Nichols said. "

Chesnic said he understands the barber's frustration and crews are working hard to get the job done.

"We take his concerns seriously obviously. We feel we do a good job communicating, but in times like this, sometimes things fall through the cracks and we'll be out of here as quickly as we can," Chesnic said.

Chesnic said 32nd Street could fully reopen by the end of this week, which could bring Datkuliak some relief.

In the meantime, he's improvising to make up for the lost business.

"I've made some house calls. I've been to nursing homes to make up for the business. You've got to be creative."