Nov 18, 2013 11:28 PM by Erin Steuber
A busy Lafayette intersection is getting a face-lift. Doucet Road at Johnston Street is undergoing a road expansion project, bringing it to five lanes, from the current three. The project is expected to be completed within 8-to-10 months, but some business owners are worried what that means for business.
It's an intersection hundreds use everyday, with businesses lining both sides of the road. But for the next several months it's not going to be business as usual.
"I'm worried about a loss of business, because of people avoiding the area," said Who Daq's owner Mike Jagneaux. "When traffic cones are up people typically go the other way."
Who Daq's is among several businesses right in the middle of the construction, and for some the expansion means less parking.
"It's an unfortunate situation.They have had the ability to use our right of way and now that we're using it they have to look elsewhere," said Lafayette's Director of Public Works Tom Carroll.
The plan includes two new turn lanes; One to the left, and one to the right, from Doucet Road onto Johnson Street. Within the last week, many changes have already taken place at that intersection to make way for construction.
"We've narrowed it down to two lanes. We've actually changed the signal time at the intersection to help traffic flow a little bit easier," said Carroll. "But my advice to the residents is, if you don't have to engage in that intersection, try and take an alternate route."
But that alternate route means less business in the area.
"Well the burgers are still good," said Jagneaux. "We're still serving good food, still getting it out quickly and it's still well worth the trip to come out."
Officials say the project has been in the works over the last 5 to 6 years so business owners have known what was on the horizon.
"We try to do everything we can to soften the blow," said Carroll. "But it will be an inconvenience and have an impact to them. We're going to work with them anyway we can to remedy some of those issues."