Businesses along Johnson Dr. getting by, despite construction - KCTV5 News

Businesses along Johnson Dr. getting by, despite construction

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A huge construction project in the metro is causing traffic tie-ups and frustrating business owners.

Drivers who use the stretch of Johnson Drive that runs from the west edge of Lamar Avenue to the west edge of Nall Avenue had to put up with dozens of cones for months on the south side. Starting this week the north side of Johnson Drive will be closed for the second phase of construction.

In an effort to ease the pain, Mission's mayor is urging people to shop at the local businesses surrounded by construction along the stretch of roadway. Business owners are hoping they can convince customers to fight through the annoyance.

At Twisted Sisters coffee shop, located on Johnson Drive near Maple Street, business is booming, but trouble could be looming.

"We are worried just a little bit," co-owner Sandi Russell said.

She said she is a little worried because soon her business, located on the north side of the street, will be surrounded by orange cones and construction crews.

"We are one of the lucky ones because we do have a backdoor," Russell said.

The massive rehabilitation project includes full reconstruction of the pavement asphalt and curbs, sidewalks and upgrades to utilities and storm water systems.

"They were above schedule by maybe a month. Now we are right on schedule," Mayor Steve Schowengerdt said.

Schowengerdt said he'd like to see crews working double shifts to get ahead of schedule to help local businesses.

"My appeal is to encourage people to come down here and shop. These businesses really need it right now," he said.

Russell is making the same plea. She's even found a way to embrace her current situation.

"On our tables we have orange cones with the word 'progress' on them," she said.

Russell and other business owners are using social media to remind customers they are open.

"We are still here. Please support local. We are here to serve you. Everybody remains open," she said.

City employees are trying to help the businesses during construction by picking a restaurant to eat at along Johnson Drive every Friday. They also started a campaign for customers who shop in Mission. They can fill out a form at any business and be registered to win $100 to spend at a Mission business.

If all goes as planned, the construction project is expected to wrap up in November. If they fall behind schedule, the construction company can be fined $3,500 a day for each day they go past the projected end date.

Upcoming Work:

  • Work began on the north side of Johnson Drive Tuesday, July 8.
  • This phase of the project is expected to last six to eight weeks, weather permitting, and with no unforeseen delays.
  • The entire project is still on track for a November completion date.

Traffic Control:

  • Johnson Drive traffic will be diverted to the south, one lane in each direction, from Lamar to Nall.
  • Road closures will be in place on the north side of Johnson Drive at Woodson, Outlook, Reeds and Maple.
  • On the southwest section of the project, Beverly and Dearborn will be reopened to through traffic.

Work Details:

  • Demolition will begin at Woodson and Johnson Drive and will continue east, toward Nall.
  • Asphalt and base layers of the existing street, curbs, parking stalls and sidewalks will be removed.
  • Stormwater inlet boxes and sanitary sewer connections will be installed, with streets and streetscape to follow.

Click here for the final outlook for Johnson Drive.

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