Businesses suffer from 6th Street construction

Jen Jungwirth

Jen Jungwirth

With the ongoing 6th Street construction, businesses are finding it difficult to manage increased traffic and decreasing sales.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation, which is in charge of the project, has set up a temporary detour from 22nd Avenue to Third Street and back to 17th Avenue while completing the final stage of the project. However, many local businesses and restaurants cut off from the construction are not located along the set detour.

Businesses in the Village Square must deal with excessive traffic through the parking lot, as customers use it as a shortcut and attempt to eat at their favorite lunch spots such as Pizza Ranch, Burger King and Subway.

Peter Binker, owner of Burger King, located along 6th Street, has taken notice of the excessive traffic through the parking lot.

“There is a lot of traffic cutting through the back,” he said. “It gets really congested during the lunch hour, especially through the drive-thru. People are cutting across the lane that others are trying to order in.”

Brookings City Engineer, Jackie Lanning said something must be done about the traffic issue.

“People are driving to fast,” she said. “We need to encourage people to use the detour and not drive over other’s property.”

However, the DOT has no plan in regulating traffic.

Besides heavy traffic, some businesses must deal with a decline in business. Blockbuster, located along 6th Street has taken a hit.

“Initially we lost business,” said manager Angella Hintz. “But with school back in, things are picking up.”

Blockbuster recently has been promoting sales for customers to increase business.

Binker also said they have had a decrease in business; however, Burger King is waiting to see how things “level out before taking a plan of action.”

As for students, the inconvenience is sometimes not worth the hassle of eating at their favorite eating facilities.

“If I really crave it I’ll go there, but otherwise it’s too difficult trying to get around the construction,” said Alicia Fjeldheim, a journalism junior.

The expected completion date is Nov. 6.