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HI: 86HI: 84HI: 86LO: 69LO: 72LO: 73
Partly cloudy with a stray thunderstorm.Partly cloudy, chance of a thunderstorm.Isolated thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the low 70s.
HI: 88LO: 67
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 60s.
Road closings slow down local businesses
Te nine summer construction projects in Lawrence have done more than disrupt traﬃc — they’ve also hurt local businesses by shutting down roads that connect them with customers. On the corner o 31st Street and Louisiana Street sits Steve’s Place, a reception hall that’s rented out or weddings, graduation parties and other events. Guests could once easily access the hall but now must go out o their way to get to it.Steve and Helen Meseraull opened the reception hall in May 2003. Tey’ve hosted countless weddings and parties within the last 11 years.Steve said that they wanted to pro- vide a place or couples to get married but not have to worry about spending a lot o money, so they oﬀered aﬀord-able prices.“I didn’t want them to go out and spend that much money when they didn’t have to and to have the same amount o un,” he said.Business had been going well until the announcement o the construc-tion and road closure around Febru-ary.“Te phone has been dead or our months,” Steve said.Te road closure on 31st Street rom Louisiana Street to Ousdahl Road is just one o nine construction projects happening now. “We try to time a lot o the projects here in Lawrence in the summer, and we start a lot o projects the day afer graduation just because we have less traﬃc and [ewer] students in town,” Dave Cronin, a city engineer, said.Te section on 31st Street is expect-ed to open in spring 2015, according to Cronin.Te Meseraulls said that they’re typically booked every weekend rom June to November, but they’ve had three cancellations or June alone. Tey only have two weddings booked or July and one or August.Te road closure has also aﬀected next year’s business, as engaged cou-ples typically reserve their date a year or more in advance.“My reservations usually or next year is at least a ourth to a hal ull by now and I don’t have anybody,” Steve said.Steve said he’s lost about $25,000 in business this year, which he estimates to be about 70 percent o the annual income.“It’s going to [be] rough or a while,” he said. “It might take us two years to get out o it.”Tey’re working to stay aﬂoat de-spite the loss. In an attempt to keep business going and encourage people to rent the hall they’ve recently o-ered a 20 percent discount.“We’re trying to get bookings started up again, so we’ll have them or next year, so we put that discount on our website,” Helen said.Just a ew minutes away is another major construction project at the in-tersection o 23rd Street and Iowa Street.Tis project has slowed traﬃc and caused long lines at the stoplight, but it’s also slowed down business or Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steak-burgers, a restaurant stuck in the middle o the construction zone.Devon Lohrenz, a manager at Freddy’s, said that at one point both main entrances to their location were closed and customers had to enter down the block. Te restaurant has had less dine-in customers as a result. Te restaurant also lost business when the drive-thru closed or two days while the parking lot was resur-aced. Lohrenz said that 50 percent o their revenue comes rom drive-thru orders, and the two days without it was a big loss.Despite ewer people, the city still experiences congested traﬃc o regu-lar commuters and city transporta-tion.Cronin said that they try to give air notice o the construction projects and asks that citizens be patient and avoid the projects i possible.
— Edited by Kaitlyn Klein
The intersection at 23rd Street and Iowa is one of nine locations that has seen heavy construction lately. This construction has negatively affected Lawrence businesses.