Small businesses struggling on Frankfurt Avenue amid construction projects | New

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A freeway closure combined with an ongoing construction project creates a challenge for one of Louisville’s most popular business districts.

Some Frankfort Avenue businesses, known for their shops and restaurants in the Crescent Hill and Clifton neighborhoods, have had fewer customers as navigation on the road has become difficult.

The Louisville Water Company began replacing old water pipes under the road in August. Some sections of the road will be closed for about a year.

The first phase of the mainline and valve replacement project is located between Stilz and Reservoir avenues and certain side streets. It is expected to continue until October, as the westbound lanes and all but one eastbound lane in this area are closed to traffic.

“There are so many small businesses along this corridor that rely on car traffic,” said Kara Hancock, manager of Blue Dog Bakery.

Susan Straub, owner of European Splendor, estimates her store has fallen by 50% since the construction project began in August.

Small businesses received another blow last weekend after an unexpected closure of Interstate 64. The carriageway was closed in both directions for the next four weekends due to work in the Cochran Hill tunnels on I-64.

This past weekend, eastbound drivers exited at Grinstead Drive, turning onto Lexington Road, then onto Cannons Lane. The detour created traffic problems around the area.

“The way I found out was that an employee called me from her car and said, ‘I’m so sorry that I can’t get to work, I’m stuck in traffic “” said Hancock.

Frankfurt Avenue business owners fear that customers will be deterred from coming to their stores and restaurants due to construction and traffic issues. They are asking for more comments on the construction work.

“I think all of the business owners on this stretch of Frankfort Avenue would like to be more considered as part of what is going on,” said John Johnson, owner of Wine Rack.

After the pandemic put a strain on small businesses, construction projects are now having an awkward effect as they attempt to recover.

“Our livelihood depends on the people who come here and it’s important that if big plans are to be made here we have a say, a bit of how people can come here,” Straub said.

The Louisville Water Company says it is asking the community to bear an inconvenience for long-term benefit.

“We know that many residents of the Frankfort Avenue area have lost their normal route to restaurants, stores and businesses,” said Kelley Dearing Smith, vice president of communications and marketing for Louisville Water Company. “There is access, but it takes extra work.”

Louisville Water Company encourages its employees and the community to continue shopping and dining in the area.

After the first phase of the Louisville Water Company project, a second phase will begin early next year.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is making some changes to its planned detours this weekend, sending drivers to I-64 East exit to I-71 North, to I-264 West, and then back to I-64.

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