Downtown business owners upset about what they call a lack of communication with city
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Road construction on St. Joseph Street is expected to happen in four phases and to drag on for several months.
“The first phase involves the north two lanes from West Boulevard to 7th Street. The next phase will be from 7th to 4th Street, which will also include the north two lanes. Then they will flip over and do the south lanes,” said Roger Hall, city engineer.
Currently, work on the street include valve repairs and potholes.
While the repairs are happening, some downtown business owners are upset about what they feel is lack of communication from the city.
“All they could have done was warn us. Construction happens, That’s a part of living in the city. We don’t care that it’s happening, we care that there was a lack of communication from our city council members, from the construction planning engineers, nobody came to warn us,” said Justice Fuegen, owner, Uprooted Black Hills.
“So, I know that construction needs to happen because it’s also a sign of growth for our community. So, I do know in the end it’s only going to better my business, but it can be frustrating in the middle as were working through all this, and we just need to get through it together and communicate,” said Tammy Yanders, owner of Staple and Spice Market.
When talking to the city about what steps were taken to notify the businesses affected, Hall stated they held two news conferences about the construction.
Hall also stated there were also message boards downtown stating that traffic would be affected.
“When it comes to notifying the individual businesses or residents along the streets, we rely on the contractor to do that because they are more familiar with the project. They can also give the residents and business owners details about when their specific location will be affected, and what the affect is going to be,” said Hall.
Yanders said if the city had put up signs around the area to help navigate traffic into business it would be helpful.
The contractors working on the construction on St. Joseph Street are on schedule, and are expected to finish Nov. 30. However, that date can change depending on the weather.
For updates on the construction around the city you can click here.
For information and updates in Rapid City, click here.
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