Businesses begin to feel impact as downtown construction continues

Posted on 3 October 2017 at 4:26am

COLUMBIA- As construction continues downtown, businesses along sixth street are feeling the impact in a loss of customers. 

The Flat Branch sewer project first closed down Sixth Street on August 21. Businesses say they were not given a warning before the construction began. 

Now, construction continues to expand, this time onto Broadway, one of Columbia's main roads. 

The work is aimed to replace water pipes below the surface of the road.

"The pipes that we are replacing were very old. Some of them were the original pipes from when Columbia was created. This will help to keep everything moving," said Patricia Hayles, a relations specialist for the utilities department of Columbia. 

For business owners, the project has been going on for too long.

Brian Coley, who owns Coley's on Sixth Street, says that having the entire street closed in front of his business has had a direct impact on the flow of customers into his restaurant.

"It's been pretty wild to see the impacts of the last six weeks. It's taken nine years to get here and now just like that, business is wiped," said Coley.

Work on the intersection of Broadway and Sixth Street began Monday night at 7 P.M. and went until early Tuesday morning.

The entire Flat Branch project is expected to be completed by the end of the month.