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

3 months 3 weeks 15 hours 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
COLUMBIA - A man charged with making a terrorist threat toward Rep. Vicky Hartzler's office was arrested and is currently... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:19:08 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - According to the 2017 Columbia Citizen Survey, the Parks and Recreation department had the highest satisfaction rate of... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:57:00 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House of Representatives perfected a bill on Tuesday, to make it legal for local Missouri... More >>
6 days ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:26:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The city’s Youth Advisory Council discussed ways to expand a program designed to train people to identify when... More >>
6 days ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:16:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - With Valentine's Day Wednesday and love on the minds of many, the Better Business Bureau is warning of... More >>
6 days ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 6:23:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Valentine’s Day may be a day full of chocolate covered strawberries and heart-felt love letters, but some environmental... More >>
6 days ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 6:16:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are trying again to reduce the duration of state jobless benefits to... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 5:08:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is advising all residents to monitor credit and debit transactions after numerous fraudulent transactions... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:51:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes broke the silence after a group of people called for his resignation at a... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:17:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Board of Education recommended Julia Coggins to be the new principal in the 2018-2019 school year at Lee... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:04:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents want better police services -- but not all are willing to fund more resources. According... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:01:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After hearing story after story from people experiencing sexual assault, students from the University of Missouri decided... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:53:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Missouri court system has taken the first step toward stripping a former prosecutor and... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:03:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Teniah Gary has lived at Aspen Heights for years, feels she's been a loyal resident and says things... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:00:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY– Jefferson City Public Schools announced the principal of the second high school. Ben Meldrum will officially... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:16:00 PM CST February 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Career Center programs are partnering with Moberly Area Community College for college credit. According to... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:24:00 AM CST February 13, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former St. Louis police officer has been charged with forcing a pregnant mother of four... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:47:00 AM CST February 13, 2018 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Police in Cape Girardeau are investigating the death of a 19-year-old. The Southeast Missourian... More >>
1 week ago Tuesday, February 13 2018 Feb 13, 2018 Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:37:00 AM CST February 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
6pm 32°
7pm 31°
8pm 31°
9pm 31°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Black Lightning
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld