JOPLIN, Mo. — Drivers in Joplin aren’t the only ones eagerly anticipating the completion of a major road project.
As the owner of Import Warehouse, Steven St. Clair doesn’t have to go far to see how the bridge construction process on Rangeline is going.
All he has to do is walk out his front door.
“Oh it’s definitely impacted our business, you know the traffic count, it’s really slowed that,” said Steven St. Clair, Owner, Import Warehouse.
He says he’s had to spend a lot more time on the phone since construction started to help customers figure out how to find his store.
“I’ve been here 38 years and I’ve dodged a lot of bullets, this is definitely a bullet, but we’ll be all right, it’s something that’s got to be done, we knew it was coming, we prepared for it, we planned for it, and just got to endure it,” said St. Clair.
Some of the businesses in the construction zone have been open and in their present location for years, but that’s not the case with all businesses.
Imagine opening your business just three days before the project started.
“We have a new, a lot of new customers, come from like Neosho, Carthage, and like Miami Oklahoma, and when they get into like Rangeline and they don’t know how to get here, so some of them get mad at us,” said Jack Nguyen, Manager, Tiffany’s Nail Studio.
Jack Nguyen wanted to open his business as far back as 2021, but held off because of the original start day for the project.
He says every time he set a new opening day, he’d learn it got pushed back again.
“So we’re could not wait longer because we could not afford to pay the rent,” said Nguyen.
To make up for the trouble of trying to find his new business, he’s offering a discount for customers who do come in.
The bridge project is still slated to be finished by mid-December.