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Local businesses feeling the hurt from construction

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Construction on the intersection of 17th and Woodruff has created more than just traffic delay. Crews are now repaving the road. It has also created some issues for many of the businesses in the area as road closures and detours have impacted the ability for people to be able to shop at the stores.

"A lot of our customers are older and so seen a whole bunch of cones and warning signs. They were like, okay, we're going to wait. They'll like the delay as long as they can or they can't navigate their way in here. So it's been really tough," said Liesl Vosika, one of the Co-Owners at Red Clover.

"It has impacted (us) a lot. Our sales are down and like we're looking at double digits now," Gandolfo's manager Lorita Kahn said.

Construction crews have put up signs to try and help direct people to get to the businesses, but the businesses say it hasn't been enough.

"Sometimes it's like, okay, once I got in here? I'll, I'll, I'll come back. And so they'd find a route, but then the next time they come, the route would change. And so then they'd get lost again. So it has been it's been a real struggle, especially since we're a small family business," Vosika said.

"Usually I'm starting to get lines or the phone's ringing off the hook sometimes because we do call-in orders as well and things like that and people will come to pick it out. But it's still kind of hard to get here when you going to come to pick it up," Kahn said.

Kahn added she is grateful for the effort they have done to try and get people to their businesses.

"I think the city did a good job of responding to, putting signs out, hey, this is the direction you can go. And they put maps on our Facebook page and stuff like that."

For a business like the Red Clover, which is small and family-owned, the road work has pushed them to the edge of being able to stick around.

"We're desperately trying to keep it open. We don't know, We don't know. We've been you know, we've been we hung on for COVID. We were. But it just yeah, I don't know, I don't know. We've got to like increase sales. I know that October and November are usually good months..." Vosika said.

Kahn said while they are struggling they have been seeing people still come in but it's still a struggle.

"So travelers come through and stuff like that. But the other business is not necessarily, you know, that way for them. So, it is affecting people's livelihood."

They are hoping to see things pick up later this fall after the construction work ends.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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