Downtown business owners concerned about road work projects

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As you drive through town over the next few weeks, you might notice the signs of spring. That includes crisp air, blue sky -- and road work.

This month, the Missouri Department of Transportation will begin a series of ramp and bridge improvement projects, but some businesses worry it might effect their bottom line.

Kelly Davis is one of several vendors who sell arts, crafts and antiques at Studio 1404 in the West Bottoms. The space is open the first Friday of each month. Davis is concerned an upcoming bridge improvement project might hurt her business.

"As long as I have been driving down here, I know to come down the 12th Street Bridge. I don't know if it is going to be difficult or desirable for people to come down, if it is going to be a pain to get here," Davis explained.

Starting in a couple months, the 12th Street Bridge will be closed for repairs for an estimated 45 days. It is one of more than a dozen bridges in and around the downtown loop area that will be rehabilitated. Davis said the bridge work puts a dent in her business.

"We rent space, so we have to cover a percentage of our booth rent and make the profits, so if we lose a day of sales for what ever reason, it hurts each vendor in a big way," said Davis.

The first big project is set to begin this month. It is on I-35 from 20th Street to State Line. That project wraps up in late December. Business owners hope customers are not discouraged by detours.

"Get here how ever you can because you won't be discouraged if you come," Linda Castro said.

For more details on downtown road projects visit

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