The word on the street seems to be that the windshield repair business has grown since I-15 reconstruction began in early 1997, though some glass shop owners say they have not seen a big increase.
Smaller glass repair shops reported as much as a 50 percent increase in their windshield repairs, while owners of larger shops said it was too early to tell if construction has brought more business.One shop, Central Glass, has done at least two to three times as many rock chip repairs as normal, said employee Lance Hudson.
Factory Auto Glass in Salt Lake City reported a 15 percent to 20 percent increase in windshield replacements and a 10 percent increase in repairs, said manager Nick James.
James said the increase has come since I-15 work began but added, "It's probably because of an increase in awareness. If there's any rock in the road, they are blaming it on construction."
A few shops reported a decrease in windshield repairs, because of their location in a construction zone, less driving on the freeway or winters that have not torn up the roads as much.
"There's obviously a lot more people moving in, and the car count is up," said Sean Higham, owner of Auto Glass Express. "There's more rock chip repair, but it's not as bad as everyone says."
An added awareness of the sand, gravel and rock in the road may be getting more car owners in shops, said Brian Rosen, manager of Techna-Glass in Salt Lake.