Businesses, drivers react to U.S. 31 construction

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Two weeks after a busy stretch of U.S. 31 closed in Hamilton County for construction, some local businesses say they’ve seen a slowdown in sales, but nothing catastrophic or as much as some had first feared.

“(It’s) slowed down a little bit,” said Minh Lee from his counter at Party Nails. “Not much.”

The section of highway from 136th Street to Old Meridian will stay closed until Thanksgiving as part of a big project to improve 31 from Indianapolis to South Bend.

Walking out of a coffee shop, Wanda Nasser said she’d just asked the cashier whether they’d seen a slowdown in business.

“And she said definitely it has, yes,” said Nasser.

“It’s not as busy as it was,” said Carmel resident David Cress, referring to a shopping strip along the closed section of highway. “There’s a little less traffic, you know, not as much people in this plaza going to the restaurants or whatever.”

But Dan DeForrest, an employee at Three D’s Pub and Café, said it certainly isn’t anything they can’t survive.

“The construction’s definitely not a business killer or anything like that. It’s just the sort of thing that’s a little inconvenient but once people get up here, they see that it’s not that much trouble.”

So while Thanksgiving may still be a long way off, many are looking at the bigger picture–what’s to come down the road.

“It will be nice,” said Kress.

And Nasser agreed.

“No pain, no gain,” she said.

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