Road construction threatens local business

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COLUMBIA - MoDOT closed the Route B bridge over Business Loop 70 for replacement Friday. Crews will demolish the old bridge and build a new one in its place. Construction is expected to last no more than 66 days, reopening by September 15. In addition, Business Loop 70 East will close Friday night at 7 p.m. and will reopen Monday, July 14. 

MoDOT says while construction takes place, access to local businesses along Business Route 70 and Route B will still be available. But two nearby business owners said they are not looking forward to the decrease in potential customers during this time.

Ray and Cat Frechette own Cat's Kitchen, which is located on Paris Road just north of the bridge closure. Ray Frechette said drivers are being detoured away from their business.

"It's going to be an effort for people to find us over here," Ray Frechette said. "And for us to keep enough business to stay open," Cat Frechette said. 

The couple hopes they have a strong enough clientele who will go the extra step to return during the construction.

MoDOT has offered alternate routes. Drivers traveling northbound can go right on Ammonette, left onto Old Highway 63, right onto Business Loop 70 and left onto Hathman Place to Route B. Southbound travelers can take Route B to left on Hathman Place, right onto Business Loop 70, left onto Old Highway 63 and right onto Ammonette. Eastbound drivers can go right onto College Avenue, left onto Paris Road, right onto Ammonette, left onto Old Highway 63 and then turn right back onto Business Loop 70. Westbound drivers can take Business Loop 70, turn left onto Old Highway 63, right onto Ammonette, left onto Paris Road to right onto College Avenue to Business Loop 70.

A temporary traffic signal will also be placed at Route B and Hathman Road to help manage traffic flow.

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