14-mile bypass on Highway 64 underway, some business owners worried

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ASHEBORO, N.C. – For the past six years, business has been good at di'lishi frozen yogurt bar in Asheboro.

“We've grown from Asheboro out across the southeast,” said owner and CEO of the di’lishi franchise Marlo Francis.

The shop is on East Dixie Drive or U.S. Highway 64. Francis says it’s a prime location which helps bring in a lot of customers.

“People come from Raleigh on through, headed to Charlotte or Greensboro,” Francis said. “We do rely on that.”

But Francis, like many other business owners on the highway is worried about how the new Highway 64 bypass may affect business.

"Initially, it's a little terrifying," she said. "My initial thought when I heard about the bypass was about my investment. Like how is it going to affect my top line every year."

Once it's finished, the 14-mile bypass will send drivers around the city instead of through it.

“Retailers and business owners along this street Dixie Drive are concerned about what that's going to do to their livelihood and their businesses,” said Linda Brown, president of the Asheboro and Randolph Chamber of Commerce.

Brown and other county and city leaders are trying to rebrand the area.

“As a dining, shopping, lodging, services destination,” Brown said.

The goal is to bring in more traffic once the bypass opens.

The plan is still in its early stages, but Brown says once it's revealed, it'll be hard for drivers to miss.

“New street lamps, banner signage to make it more decorative and appealing looking,” Brown said. “We're talking about landscaping, sprucing up some of the store fronts.”

Brown is holding a series of meetings with businesses and other county leaders to work on the rebranding.

Francis says she's hoping for the best.

"As a business owner, you just roll with the punches and try to make the best of everything," Francis said.

The Highway 64 bypass isn't expected to open until late 2019.