LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

MERIDIAN -- Get ready to find an alternate route in downtown Meridian.

It's been talked about for years, but this is the year Meridian Road will be widened.

The widening project set to begin this summer will completely shut down Meridian Road from Cherry Lane to Franklin Road. The closure is expected to last around a year.

Growth is a double edged sword. There's good and bad that comes from it.

Once this construction begins, local businesses are hoping they can make it through that bad with their business still intact.

One of those businesses is Fred s Barber Shop.

We wanted to bring back the old style barber shop, said owner Fred Pratt.

Clients, all men and too many to count, come to Fred's for more than a trim.

There's not many places any more where you can go and just be a guy and relax, hang out with other guys get a haircut and BS about what's going on, said Pratt.

Aaron has worked next to Fred for the last 17 years.

The barber shop, that's your sense of community, said Aaron Hawley.

The two men have been through a lot together over the years. They moved to this location in 2005 with a great storefront facing Meridian Road.

People notice ya, oh, there's a barber shop there, so they come back and say I saw you the other day, so we thought we'd try ya, said Hawley.

But later this year that familiar sight out the window will be anything but familiar.

Our main road through town is shutting down, said Hawley.

The Ada County Highway District is going to widen this heavily traveled road, expanding it from two lanes to five.

To do that, some buildings will have to go. Others like Fred will have to surrender property, meaning his front door will be closer to the road.

It's not like we can chain ourselves to our sign out front and say no, you're not coming through, said Pratt.

Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd recognizes this complete closure will impact businesses negatively.

I strongly encourage our entire community to frequent and support these businesses during that construction because their temporary inconvenience is for the entire community's long term convenience, said de Weerd.

Fred and Aaron recognize 40 percent of their clients are walk-ins.

Like yesterday, we probably did three people that just moved into the area, said Hawley.

That's why during construction they'll lean heavily on their regulars.

We might have to get these regulars to come in weekly instead of monthly, said Pratt with a laugh.

And get creative with their advertising.

I'm putting our website on the back of his head, he laughed.

And in the meantime, they'll keep styling and hoping they can make it through future construction.

It's just going to make our business even better afterwards because you'll have more cars coming down here and it's actually going to make the visibility better, said Pratt.

During this widening project, ACHD and Meridian will put in temporary signs helping people navigate the construction and remind people that businesses are still open.

Even still, for businesses like Fred's they are going to miss that visibility that normally comes from people driving by.

Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/06/28/11697149/