JOPLIN, MO.--- Construction on 26th Street started last summer, but some residents feel like the detours have lasted much longer. One woman KODE spoke with says she's constantly taking detours and never knows when the road will be opened or closed. City officials say that's because they have to take the project day by day.
"Our partners with the utility companies have to deal with the issues that we didn't know about when we started, we in turn have issues that we uncover that we've got to take care of, and that just takes more time," said Nick Heatherly, Director of Public Works.
More time means more confusion for neighborhood residents like Niki Corcoran. She's lived next to 26th Street for nearly three years, but still feels like she drives through a maze just to get home.
"Sometimes you just suck it up and drive all the way around to Maiden Lane, down to 32nd Street and then back around again," said Niki Corcoran, Area Resident.
Director of Public Works Nick Heatherly tries to make sure residents are aware of the closures.
"We've always instructed our contractors to work with the neighborhoods and the community as best they can, to keep the signage up, make sure we keep people that live in that area and provide them as much access as we can," said Heatherly.
When unexpected issues come up in the field, workers make resident safety the first priority.
"Anytime you're working with big equipment and we have people out on the roads, it's always a safety issue we have to balance," said Heatherly.
That might mean unplanned detours in the area.
"The idea is that all local residents within that area do have access at all times, but we would appreciate anybody else trying to find an alternate route," said Heatherly.
Corcoran says she looks forward to the new and improved road, but just wants some clarity.
"I'm excited about it, and when it will officially be done, it will be even better that I'm not living in a construction zone anymore," said Corcoran.
The finished road will include three lanes, along with sidewalks for bikes and pedestrians. City officials say it should be complete sometime this summer.
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