CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Idlewild Road is closed between Monroe Road and Independence Boulevard for the second weekend in a row, and drivers may need to take a detour for yet another weekend in July.

Construction crews are having problems with water line shutoff valves as they move water, sewer, and storm pipes under the road for the Independence expressway project. The stuck valves some of them decades old are slowing construction down, according to a project manager on the site.

Crews from Davis Grading, the contractor, are working around the clock to finish the job, but area businesses are feeling the pinch of the road closure.

I ve been in business for 39 years, and I've never seen slow business like this in my life, said Raja Aildasani, owner of Imagination Men s Clothing, a shop at the end of the strip mall at the intersection of Idlewild and Independence.

His store has survived in that location for 18 years, but he fears he ll be forced out of business like so many other shops whose customers stopped coming as the expressway construction moved east down Independence.

The past two weekends have slowed business to a crawl.

They have closed the streets, said Aildasani. A lot of my customers don't know how to get in and how to get out.

Davis s manager said Saturday the company informed all of the businesses about the closures, and have allowed customers to come and go where it was safe to do so.

Moe Moe Ho has run an alterations shop for 24 years in a business park that is difficult to get to with the barricades up on the road.

Right now the business very, very hurt me because of the road construction a lot, she said emphatically. The construction always and again and again and again -- they block, it block it.

Idlewild Road will open by 6 a.m. Monday and be open again next weekend 4th of July weekend. It is scheduled to close the weekend after that, said Davis s project manager. He hopes that is all the time the crews will need, if no more problems are discovered underground.

Raja Aildasani said even then, he knows there will be more construction as the bridge is built nearby. His business may be done for good.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and I hope I can stay here, he said.

NCDOT recommends drivers use Sharon Amity Road if they need to cross between Monroe Road and Independence Boulevard.

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