Road closings in downtown Columbia could hurt local businesses

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COLUMBIA — Road closings this summer in downtown Columbia could make it harder to enjoy local shops and restaurants in the area. 

Columbia resident Bailey Mittman said the construction keeps her from visiting downtown.

“Every once and a while, I like to go downtown and go shopping, and recently it's been a lot harder getting around downtown because of the road closings,” Mittman said.

Jennifer Pestie, store manager of the Cha clothing store, said she has not seen construction affect her business yet, but has noticed parking is more of an issue.

“I wouldn’t say that we have seen a decrease in clients, but we have definitely had a lot of people talking about how difficult parking can be and how frustrating it is to get around, because they have had quite a few streets blocked off," Pestie said.

Pestie said construction could impact the upcoming Dog Days sidewalk sale.

“Probably a little bit because you can’t even walk on the sidewalks," Pestie said. "But I am not too worried about it, the district does a good job promoting it. So I don’t think that will have a really big decrease in anything but it might just make things a little more difficult with parking and walking around."

Columbia Public Works said Elm Street between 8th and 9th should be open by the end of July, while 9th Street between Elm and Locust Street won’t be open until August 10.