Businesses working around Kentucky Ave. construction

Kentucky Avenue has been torn up for two weeks now. The roadwork stretches from 24th Street to Walter Jetton Boulevard, and crews are replacing old utility lines and redirecting all the traffic to Broadway.

There’s still one westbound lane open, but be sure to abide by the 25 mile per hour work zone.

As for businesses that are staying open on the stretch of road, they’re trying to be proactive about all the construction and how long it will take. Many business owners are putting up signs so drivers know what detour to take to their secondary entrance, but getting the customers to the door has proven a little difficult.

Kyle Wiersma of Randy’s Body shop on Kentucky Avenue says his business is noisier than normal. It’s competing with the machines outside the front walkway. Wiersma says one of the bigger battles is getting customers through a back gate. “I don’t want anyone thinking we’re not open or closed; were still full throttle business as usual,”Wiersma says.

Wiersma says at least they can rely on their customers making appointments. He says a lot of their business is catching up on the backlog from the winter, deer hits, and collisions.

While Crash Comics Manager Brent Thurston says he’s fortunate despite the construction. Most of his customer base is made up of regulars who have made sure they know the second entrance since the Kentucky Avenue roadwork started. Thurston says, in combination with directional signs, he has relied heavily on word of mouth outside his customer base.  

“The smaller business, like me and the consignment store, that depend on foot traffic are virtually cut off,” Thurston says.

Thurston knew if he were to rely on foot traffic his business might be cut off entirely, but expects the next six to eight months will still be a rough road. “If you can keep your head above water long enough, you can end up reaping the rewards for next year,” Thurston says.

Wiersma says they’re making sure people get to their business. If you can’t find or drive to the second entrance, they’ll make sure to send someone out to get you.

Construction is expected to last through December to fix water, sewage, and drainage lines and to repair the road.

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