Local business owners say construction by Lake Shawnee is hurting sales

Local News

A construction project in Topeka isn’t just impacting drivers, but also business owners.

Business owners in the area say the construction on 29th St. and the detours customers are having to make just to get to their stores are really hurting their business. 
 

Others say they haven’t really felt the impacts yet, but worry that may change if the project doesn’t stay on schedule.
 

Jake Wall normally serves 80 to 100 customers a day at Baker’s Dozen at the corner of 29th and Croco Rd. 
 

“We’ve been through this before,” said owner Jake Wall. “I’ve been in business for 14 years and you know, we’ve had road closures before at other stores and stuff and you just fight through it.”

But, ever since the construction project started back in February, the amount of customers coming in has dropped drastically.

 

“I can’t have my business cut in half and I do realize that that construction, that detour is bad,” said Wall. “It’s not a five minute inconvenience, it’s a 30 minute inconvenience.”

The project consists of widening the road, installing a new traffic light and fixing up bridges.

 

Just across the street from Baker’s Dozen at Great Clips, Assistant Manager Nicole Bearden hasn’t noticed the drop in business.

“My first thought was how long is it gonna take?” said Bearden. “The detouring for people was just more of my thing.”

She said they were worried how the construction would impact business at first, but two months into the project, they’re still going strong. 

“We’re really convenient on this side of town for a lot of people since there’s nothing else really over here,” said Bearden. “So, being convenient kind of helps us stay busy.”

While Wall knows the construction is something that needs to be done, he just hopes the community will rally around his store and other stores in the area to keep their doors open until the project’s complete.

The project is expected to be complete next year.

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