Grand Ave Businesses Suffer with Bridge Project - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Grand Ave Businesses Suffer with Bridge Project

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Addie Olson

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@addieolson

The Grand Avenue bridge in Des Moines has been closed since March for construction. It was supposed to open in September, but now the city says it won't be done until late November.

One sign after another offers advice on how to navigate Grand Avenue.

"If you follow the cones you can find where you're trying to get to," said Des Moines West Side Chamber of Commerce member Mary Grace Herrington.

But among all the orange signs and detoured drivers, the businesses hidden behind the construction site are the ones dealing with slow traffic.

"It's had a big impact on the businesses," said Des Moines City Councilwoman Christine Hensley.

"Retailers is who we've heard the most from because they're the ones who are depending on daily traffic into their stores," said Herrington.

Since the Grand Avenue bridge closed a lot fewer cars drive by businesses in the area.

"It's gone from 18,000 cars a day to really almost zero cars," Hensley said.

Hensley and Herrington met at Pal Joey's to talk about the struggling businesses with members of the community Thursday.

Ted Irvine comes to Pal Joey's for more than just community meetings.

"It's suffered," Irvine said. "It's terrible to see a business like this missing out on business because of something like the bridge project."

As someone who owns a business himself, Irvine knows just how much frustration those roadblocks can cause.

"You don't pay less insurance because the bridge is closed, you don't pay your employees less because the bridge is closed," he said.

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