AVON-BY-THE-SEA - Business owners in Avon-by-the-Sea say that construction on the Route 71-Main Street Bridge that connects their borough to Belmar is cutting off traffic and costing them customers.

Ronna Jozef, the co-owner of the boutique Cameo Shoes, says it's become tough for her to pay her taxes and utilities. She says sales have dropped 80 percent since construction started on the bridge in October.

Jozef says "It's as if there's 10 feet of snow out. There's no traffic going by and it's just the worst I've ever seen."

Shop owners are hoping they can pressure the state by speaking to local lawmakers to speed up the project, which is not scheduled for completion until March.