Downtown Columbia Frustrated With Construction
COLUMBIA - Water line and sidewalk construction is nearing completion in a section of downtown Columbia. But the affected businesses say they've been inconvenienced for too long. Construction has torn most of the sidewalk and all parking areas in front of Broadway between 8th and 9th streets.
Columbia Water and Light started the project two months ago to repair water lines in the area. Columbia Public Works joined them earlier this month to repair the sidewalks. "With that area, we have had problems with the sidewalk breaking up," said Jill Stedem, Public Works Information Director.
That means businesses have had to suffer the effects of the construction for two months. "People see the construction, and they say I can't go this way," said Hyun Shin, head chef at Geisha Sushi Bar. "It's badly affected business."
Broadway Brewery says used to average 60 customers per lunch period. With the construction, any customers sighted in the restaurant during lunch is seen as a blessing. "I know it's affecting my bank account," said Krissy Farrar, day manager at Broadway Brewery. "I'm not making any money."
J.C. Industries, the construction company in charge of the project, says it will do its best to keep working with the affected businesses to do as much work as possible during closing hours. Columbia Public Works says construction will be completed by October 12, weather permitting.