JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A project to widen one of Jeffersonville's busiest roads aims to make it easier to get to and from businesses. But after months of construction, some businesses along east 10th Street are hurting.
In front of some businesses along the busy stretch of east 10th Street near downtown Jeffersonville, signs read 'Yes, we're open during construction'. While the finished project will help many area businesses, the construction is crippling some of them.
"It's a real pain," said Jeffersonville resident Carlotta Hunt. "It always took forever to get down 10th Street, now it takes even longer." Hunt said driving through Jeffersonville can be frustrating, especially now. Often, she said, she opts to take the interstate instead.
"It's a pain," said Rick Lovan, a longtime Jeffersonville resident. "But you know, there's always a lane open, there's always a way to get around,"
"People just don't want to deal with 10th street right now," said Richard Britney, owner of My Computer Geek in Jeffersonville. "They don't want to come down here,"
Right in the heart of the 10th Street widening project sits My Computer Geek. Britney says the construction here is hurting his business.
"You know, my income's been crippled by it,absolutely devastated," Britney said. "My business is down over, or pretty close to 92 percent now. It's taken everything in savings. I'm down to 13 bucks in savings now to keep open. It's bad. My streets were blocked for eight months solid, you couldn't get in the building for four and a half, five months."
Construction has blocked off access to his store and others along this mile and a half stretch for months now.
"Well, it's a mess," said Mike Moore, Jeffersonville Mayor. "No doubt about it. But it's a project that should have been done 20 years ago."
Moore said the widening to one of their busiest roads need to happen. Jeffersonville is growing, and this road hasn't grown in decades.
"I know people are frustrated," Moore said. "I know they're tired of the orange cones. I am, too. But if we don't do this project now, Lord help us, because the city will be at a standstill."
The $20-million expansion will spur more growth along the corridor here when it's finished at the end of the year, Moore said.
Britney worries his business can't hang on that long.
"I'm just going to fight through it and hope for the best," Britney said. "That's it, that's all I can do."
"I know it's a pain right now, but it is going to be beautiful," Lovan said.
The east 10th St. widening project began in the Fall of 2017 and will wrap up by the end of 2018. When it's finished, there will be a sidewalk on both sides of the road for pedestrian traffic, with two lanes of roadway and a turning lane in the middle.