Construction on Lower Manhattan transit center hurting local businesses

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Construction on the $1.4 billion Fulton Street Transit Center project has hurt local businesses in the Lower Manhattan area. Construction on the center, which is expected to be completed by 2014, is five years behind schedule. The city is currently in the process of replacing the 150-year-old infrastructure along Fulton Street, a project which has closed the street to vehicular traffic and forced 35 of the 200 storefronts along Fulton and Nassau streets out of their spaces. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is offering a maximum of $25,000 in grants to the affected small businesses, an amount many store owners are saying is not large enough. Work on the infrastructure project was originally planned to conclude by this summer. Now, the city says work on the Fulton Street infrastructure will be over by year’s end, barring unforeseen delays.