Big R’s Barbecue feels the effects of Joplin construction

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Construction is taking a toll on one Joplin business, and the owner says she is losing thousands of dollars in the process.

Big R’s Barbeque employees have seen orange cones and re-routing signs in front of the business for several months now. The owner has managed to keep the business open through all of it, until last Friday when a water line burst and the restaurant was forced to shut down for most of the day.

“It’s not just having no water it’s the fact that I’ve got multiple staff members that are short,” says Twyla Housh.

Big R’s owner, Twyla Housh says multiple crews are working on a storm water project around her restaurant on 15th Street and it’s affecting how much money her employee’s are taking home. A water main burst Friday causing the water in the area to be shut off, which in turn caused her business to shut down for most of the day. And, even though the water main break was not the city’s fault — it’s near the city of Joplin’s Stormwater 11 Project which began this summer.

“I just thought the city was going to come through do a project and it was going to be done,” says Twyla Housh.

But it was more than just the city that would be doing construction.

“I did not realize before the city could begin their work, not only did we have to have the electric company, we had to have the phone and the cable companies, we had to have the water companies and the gas company,” says Housh.

“So we will notify the utilities in advance to let them know of any work that’s going on that may affect them, and in this case gas and water ended up needing to relocate their utilities,” says Steven Martinez, stormwater civil engineer.

Twyla says she knows that the city has good intentions and expects the project will improve the flooding issues in the area, but all the construction has come with a hefty price.

“We figured total, you know, business ebbs and flows, so total we figured we’ve lost about ten-thousand dollars in revenue between September and October, not November. This is not including what happened on Friday,” says Twyla Housh.

“The last thing we really want the construction to do is negatively affect our businesses in the area, and we try to accommodate these businesses as much as we can,” says Steven Martinez.

The water main has since been fixed, and this isn’t the last of the construction 15th Street will see. Stormwater 12 will begin right after this project is finished in December. There will be a public meeting about the new construction on Thursday at 4 in the Joplin Public Library. Joplin residents can go address their questions or concerns to city officials.

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