Omaha, Nebraska (WOWT) – This summer, the 42nd Street bridge opened to traffic. Approximately 40,000 vehicles traversed each day, passing stores on S. 42nd St.
But the bridge was in need of repair, and in October Omaha workers closed it and began a year-long project to replace it.
Tim Parys owned two businesses in the area and wasn’t sure they could hold out that long.
“I don’t know,” said Paris. “If it weren’t so bad, we’d probably have enough money for six months.”
But Tim’s auto repair shop and convenience store didn’t last very long.
Three months after the closure, a current former employee of Tim’s told me that Tim sold the family business because he saw no way to make a profit with the bridge closed.
Mega Saver is the new owner of Tim’s former business. Just down the street, Larry Eckley’s Auto Broker’s is still open, but bridge construction has slowed business.
“When you say slow, it’s probably 60% down for business,” says Eckley. “This has something to do with the year-end and New Year holidays and the time of the year. We hope it picks up during the tax period, but we are really affected because 40,000 cars have not arrived.”
Larry says a lot has changed along this 42nd Street. Some fast food restaurants have closed and others have adjusted their hours. All this construction work is forcing traffic to be redirected to local neighborhoods. This makes it difficult for Mary Mohr to get in and out when she visits her parents on F Street.
“When we try to get out of the driveway, it takes forever, especially during rush hour, from 12:00 to 3:00 to 5:00, sometimes until 6:00,” Mohr said. increase.
Neighborhood streets are getting the traffic Larry and other business owners want, but construction has changed the flow of traffic approaching Ekrie’s business.
“We’re at a dead end, so it’s a little different than heavy traffic,” says Eckley. “Significantly reduced traffic and accidents…all in all, much slower speeds.”
Larry says he’ll be doing more advertising and doing more work on social media to spread the word and hopefully get more business through his door.
City officials say they are working hard on the project weather permitting. Although it’s only been three months, the city believes the bridge will be completed in the fall.
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