Profits at Paducah, Kentucky businesses plunge, construction project gets the blame


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Justin Jones

PADUCAH, Ky. - Local business owners say a multi-million dollar construction project hurts their bottom line.

We're talking about US 60 from the Bridge Street intersection to just east of the I-24 downtown business loop on Paducah's South Side.
You might think drivers would be more inclined to stop at these businesses, but some owners say that's not the case.  It's because these entrances are either blocked or difficult to drive through, and that's why profits are plunging.

At Subway sandwiches are their specialty, but lately the Subway employees keep talking construction.

"Every body comes in here asks us the same thing, every customer, and that's how's it affecting your business. And it's the same reply, it's killing us you know," employee Richi Lowe said.

Some customers like Brandi Ward come no matter what.

But Ward and her mom are in the minority. That's why manager Brandi Farris had to cut employee hours.

"They've went from 35 to 38 hours down to 22 hours a week," Farris said.

For a father of two like Richi Lowe, that hurts.

"I didn't think it was going to be that serious and that many people complaining," Lowe said.

Businesses on one side of the road are feeling most of the pain right now but business owners and drivers beware; when crews are finished with the first two lanes, they'll start working on the others.

Expressway Car Wash is still easily accessible, but owner Drew Walker said when the cones went up his profits went down 35 percent. So he started remodeling and closed the wash ahead of schedule.

"Hopefully we'll get open sooner, hopefully about the time they finish the roads," Walker said.

The goal for completion is Thanksgiving. Something people will be thankful for.

The manager at Subway said they're losing $5,000-7,000 a week. The owner reached out to her insurance company to see if she could recover some of those losses but was denied.

At night crews are pouring concrete from approximately 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. During those times the road is reduced to one lane traffic.

The total price for the project is $4.9 million, with a completion date of November 30.