NORTH SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Business owners on the Sioux City and North Sioux City sides of this bridge project aren’t happy. They said the project is forcing a traffic detour and that’s costing them customers and money.
“It’s kinda scary because you don’t know if you’re going to get that business back once the bridge is open,” said Kimberly Luken, the owner of Beano & Sherry’s.
Since construction on Military Bridge began on May 1, Kimberly Luken said she has seen a 25% drop in business at her casino.
“It has been kinda a ghost town. I mean it’s definitely impacted a lot of businesses,” said Luken.
Many businesses in both North Sioux City and Sioux City are concerned that, with all the rain, the deadline for the bridge construction won’t be met.
“Weather doesn’t affect the bridge construction as much as it would on a normal roadway because there is no ground underneath of it to get wet,” said Ted Cherry, the North Sioux City administrator.
This week engineers are inspecting the bridge, now that the deck is completely off. The next step will be putting the new deck in place.
“They knew it was in pretty bad shape and that’s why they are doing the project, but as far as I know, structurally, the iron is still in good shape and that is why they are not replacing that, just the deck,” said project manager Josh Reis.
North Sioux City has begun an advertising campaign to try and draw more traffic to bridge area businesses, like Luken’s.
“We certainly feel for the businesses and have tried to take some steps to mitigate that hurt and pain,” said Cherry.
“I do feel that as a whole that we will make it through this just as long as we stay on the same page and communicate,” said Luken.
The bridge is supposed to be done by September 27. North Sioux City has a financial incentive in the deal for early completion.