TARGET 8: City admits errors in handling of Sixth Street construction

7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Monday, October 30 2017 Oct 30, 2017 Monday, October 30, 2017 7:13:00 PM CDT October 30, 2017 in Target 8
By: Adam Duxter, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - When Brian Coley showed up for work on August 21, he was met at the door not by customers, but contractors. 

Coley, a Columbia native, MU grad, and owner of Coley's on Sixth street, had no idea what was about to take place on his street and for his restaurant. 

"The city did not let us know. They didn't let me know. I showed up one day for work and there was contractors setting up road closed signs and I was like 'oh, okay,'" Coley said. 

The construction in front of Coley's restaurant was part of a larger project for the city- the Flat Branch Sewer Project, for which the city is spending nearly three million dollars to remove and replace underground pipes. 

For Coley, this project has had unforeseen consequences. With every street access point to his restaurant blocked off, he has seen business rapidly decline. 

"With the street being closed down on both sides, it looks like nothing's going on over here," he said. "It's been pretty wild to see the impact of the last six weeks. It's taken nine years to get here, and just like that, business is wiped."

Two days after construction began in August, the water main on Sixth Street broke, forcing a water shutoff. Coley called the city to find out he was on a 24-hour boil advisory. 

This was the first time he said he had heard anything from the city, and it would be the only time for weeks he would have any sort of update. 

As frustrating as the construction has been for Coley, he said the lack of construction on some days has been even worse. 

"I feel comfortable saying there's been a solid three weeks of nothing happening. There have been some weeks where literally nothing has happened. That's concerning to me," he said.

Columbia Community Relations Director Steven Sapp said business owners are always notified of a road closing in front of their place of work well before it happens. 

In the contract for the Flat Branch Sewer Project obtained by KOMU 8 News, there is language stating property owners will receive 15 days notice.

Despite all of this, Coley said he never got a call from the city. For weeks, he continued to go to work as usual. Day after day, he passed the construction slowly deteriorating his customer traffic.

"Our practice is to notify business owners when we're going to have long-term street closures," Sapp said. "We suspect this is a case when one utility thought another utility was making a notification when perhaps none was made."

Sapp admitted the city made a mistake, but said sometimes construction just can't wait.

"We understand that this impacts [businesses] at a level that we don't always appreciate enough. On the flip side of course, we have to do infrastructure improvements and road improvements," he said. 

Sapp said the department is shifting its focus on finding out how the error occurred.

"We are looking to see was there a breakdown, how did that breakdown occur, and how can we prevent that breakdown from happening again in the future," he said. 

Sapp said the city should probably contact businesses impacted, but hasn't.

"Certainly we need to remember to reach out to those who will be affected. It certainly doesn't appear that this has happened in this case. We are all responsible for that," he said. 

For Coley, the construction continues to take its toll. 

"For nine years I've been building this business. How quickly my traffic can be just taken away from me because the city shut down the street is very concerning," he said. "Every week it's gotten progressively worse"

On October 16, Coley took his case to the city council. He said while he can't prevent what happened to him, he hopes that the city makes changes to help any other businesses avoid this in the future.

He also said he hopes somehow the city can find a way to make reparations for what he has lost during the last two months.

Sixth street reopened on Friday, October 27th. 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department could see some major changes in authority if a recommendation... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:16:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An attorney suing former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his staffers says recently uncovered texts show... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A study conducted by an MU professor shows sensitive medical information could be put in the wrong hands without... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:18:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU hosted a summit on Wednesday to discuss ideas about a new research building with the other UM... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:17:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
ELDON - Police in Eldon arrested a suspect Wednesday for an assault at a barber shop. Officers responded to... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 3:46:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Authorities said they were looking for a man near Vandiver Drive who was considered armed and dangerous. ... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 3:01:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County emergency officials are getting some new digs. Crews will soon move into a new... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 2:55:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - People in mid-Missouri are doing whatever it takes to stay cool during the summer. That includes trash... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Four years after Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill co-sponsored legislation targeting tax havens such as the Cayman... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 1:49:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A judge has turned down a Ferguson lawmaker's attempt to run for a seat in the... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:36:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Zoo has welcomed a baby giraffe. Zoo officials announced Tuesday that Beau was... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:18:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
FERGUSON (AP) — St. Louis County authorities say a 70-year-old Green Park woman died from heat-related issues when her home's... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:29:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
KIRKWOOD (AP) — A 71-year-old St. Louis man and his adult son are both charged with assault for allegedly beating... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:02:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Harry S. Truman VA Hospital is building a home to ease the burden of travel for veterans... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - City leaders are working toward a solution for its volunteer-based fire department. The Fayette Board of Aldermen... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:44:00 AM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield citizens are looking for answers after yet another city council meeting was canceled Tuesday. ... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Ryan Lee Gehris said he’s always loved to ride his bike. Lately, that hobby has turned... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
MEXICO - The Mexico Public Safety Department arrested two people and accused them of child abuse in Mexico, Missouri, following... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
6pm 85°
7pm 85°
8pm 83°
9pm 78°