Broken Arrow Business Owners Adjust While Downtown Goes Under Construction

Monday, June 10th 2013, 7:03 pm
By: News On 6

Part of downtown Broken Arrow is getting a makeover. In the meantime, the almost $4 million dollar project may cause some traffic headache.

Construction crews spent Monday putting out orange cones. Soon, the road will be filled with them. City leaders hope this construction project will be the thing that helps boost growth on Main Street.

It's the heart of Broken Arrow, and now it's getting a facelift.

"I think it's going to be wonderful. I think it's going to be a great addition," said Joyce Shanley, who said she's lived in Broken Arrow for 47 years.

The plan calls for wider sidewalks. That means the street will be narrowed from four lanes to three, one in each direction plus a turning lane.

"It's just more inviting to the public, more pedestrian-friendly. That's the goal," said engineering and construction Director Kenneth Schwab.

Although many people welcome the upgrade, some business owners are worried the orange barriers might become a deterrent for customers.

6/5/2013 Related Story: Work Begins To Revitalize Broken Arrow's Rose District

"We've talked with people from the Chamber, and they're trying to work it out so not the whole street is tore up at once," said business owner Veronica Reyes.

Fiesta Mambo Downtown only has two outdoor tables. Reyes is hoping wider sidewalks will allow more outside seating.

"Already, with the amount of space that we have here, we've done really well with increasing the pedestrian traffic," Reyes said.

That traffic has already grabbed the attention of new restaurants, like In The Raw sushi, which will move into the Rose District.

"Revitalization, art entertainment, businesses, restaurants--we really want the downtown to be a thriving place for business and for living," Schwab said.

"We've seen a lot of businesses come and go, a lot of new faces, a lot of new names and we're going to see more," said Patsy Terry, owner of Arrow Flower and Gift Shop.

Terry said she appreciates the city's want to revitalize downtown, but she is having to make some minor adjustments while crews are working.

"We'll just have to do more things on the Internet, more things on the phone," Terry said.

Construction is expected to wrap up in October. That's when some business owners say they'll beautify the outside of their buildings.