LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The New Albany Main Street revitalization project has begun.
The goal of the project is to make Main Street safer for pedestrians and to attract new businesses. But it’s been a headache for some of the business owners who are already there.
Christian Johnson is the owner of the Odd Shop just off Main Street.
Johnson said she looks forward to the end of the project. Not just to see the end result, but because she said the project hurt her business.
“Now that we’re in the middle of it, we’re just trying to reevaluate and start putting more stuff online at a time when people can’t walk to the store,” Johnson said. “It reduces our foot traffic.”
According to Johnson, work began a few months ago when water mains and other infrastructure were replaced.
Now work is being done on the streets and business is feeling the effects.
“I looked back and compared other years and this was one of the worst summers we’ve ever had,” Johnson said. “Or the worst summer we’ve ever had. I’ll just say it was the worst summer as summer goes.”
This also applies to the summers affected by COVID.
The store opened about four years ago and has been on Main Street for about two years.
Johnson said her business was just recovering from COVID and the random road closures have made it difficult for people to find and stop at the store.
“Usually it’s all cordoned off and people couldn’t stop when they see our sign,” Johnson said. “And then try to find a parking space in the maze of everything.”
Now they’re taking their focus off the streets and putting it online. They use social media to reach their customers.
“That’s what we’re going to rely on now during construction, rather than foot traffic,” Johnson said.
Many Main Street companies, including Johnson’s, said they were all excited for the project to be completed. They think it would be great for the area. It’s just a matter of surviving until then.
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