MERIDIAN -- Construction on Meridian's Split Corridor Project began in October 2012, and it's not expected to be finished until October of 2013. Some in Meridian are frustrated with project because they say the it's hurting local businesses.
Construction signs litter roads throughout Meridian, marking areas where the Split Corridor Project is taking place. However, there's another sign on the door of The Cigarette Store on East Fairview Avenue. It says the store is closing and construction is to blame.
LOCAL STORE CLOSES
"I'm in here three, four times, if not more, a week," said Jeremy Paluska, a regular at the store. Paluska says he was disappointed when he found out the place was closing.
"I found out last week, and I wasn't happy about it," Paluska said. "I mean, yeah, the construction out there is an inconvenience, but they have to do what they have to do."
Just next door, the owners of Sunset Tint-n-Trim said business during the construction period hasn't been good for their bottom line either.
The City of Meridian is trying to help struggling businesses with "cash mobs," which are special days dedicated to driving customers to those stores. Business owners told us the first cash mob at local auto shops went well. However, the city said the second cash mob at a group of restaurants got mixed reviews.
The Ada County Highway District says the Meridian Split Corridor Project is almost halfway done. The project is set to be finished by October 20, but officials say the contractor will receive an incentive for finishing early.
"Right now, we're showing we're on schedule to be done around the middle of October," said Construction Supervisor Justin Bledsoe.
Bledsoe said he thinks people will be pleased with the end results.
"We understand it's an inconvenience. No one likes construction when it's going on. But we try to plan in the 30, 40, 50 year range and we think this will be a long-term benefit to the people," said Bledsoe. "So for the short-term duration that we're causing this impact, you're going to really find a long-term benefit."
The City of Meridian and Meridian Chamber of Commerce are organizing another cash mob. The event will take place on April 30, and will have a Mothers' Day theme. Participating businesses are:
- All Shirley Blooms
- Main Street Floral
- Meridian Floral and Gifts
- The Flower Place
- Preece Designer Chocolates
- The city is encouraging folks to finish off their shopping that day with a meal at The Hungry Onion.