TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Nichole Yingling noticed something missing on her way to open her North Topeka coffee shop Thursday morning - and she couldn't have been happier!
Gone were the "Road Closed" barricades she passed at Menninger Road on her way south on NW Topeka Blvd. KDOT removed them Wednesday night, when they reopened the boulevard to through traffic under the new Hwy. 24 bridge.
Since early June, drivers wanting to get north or south of Hwy. 24 on NW Topeka Blvd. had to detour using Menninger and Lyman Roads, and North Kansas Ave. That meant cars were not driving past businesses, like Yingling's Nib's House of Coffee.
Yingling says it was exciting to see traffic once again buzzing by on the street Thursday. She says, over the past five months, she was forced to lay off staff and reduce business hours. She says they knew the project was coming and that it was needed, but there was little they could do to compensate for the lack of traffic other than hold on.
Yingling credits her regular customers for all their support. She says many even increased the frequency of their visits to keep them going.
It will be another month before things are totally back to normal. NW Topeka Blvd. has lane reductions while crews continue curb work. In addition, the interchange ramps between Hwy. 24 and NW Topeka Boulevard won't reopen until mid-November.