Richland Avenue Businesses React To Road Improvement Delays

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Road work on Richland Avenue was slated to be completed by December, but that's been pushed back to next summer.

Business owners hear constant complaints from customers about the road.

"The road's been in better shape. I mean, they re-do it occasionally. This is the worst I remember it," said Ed Fisher, owner of Purple Chopstix Restaurant.

Fisher has owned Purple Chopstix since 1989.

"A lot of the complaints we get is that there's not access to the parking lot, because there's a curb. Part of the Richland Avenue Project was going to remove those curbs."

Along with new curbs, the bumpy stretch is set to receive new sidewalks and bike lanes topped with a smooth asphalt finish.

The project also includes replacing water lines, storm drains, and natural gas lines.

That's quite a difference from the road's current conditions.

Stop-N-Cop Drive-Thru owner Kevin Schwarzel has owned his Richland carry-out business since 1985.

"For the last couple years, everyone has been complaining about the potholes and everything else," Schwarzel said. "The winter was hard on the road – We all know that. But not much money is being put into fixing it because they knew they would have the project going. So now it's gotten even worse."

But not all businesses on Richland Avenue mind the road's current state.

Huddle Tire has been busy repairing the tires and shocks of cars damaged by the rocky road.

Taco John's has seen an increase in their lunch rushes thanks to hungry utility wokers preparing the road for future construction.

Even though Fisher was hoping for a new Purple Chopstix parking lot by the end of the year, he still sees a bright side to the many months of construction ahead.

"I think you can always turn things like that into an advantage if you think about it… Maybe I'll get purple construction hats for my customers."