Major road projects take a toll on drivers and local businesses

Published: Jul. 5, 2016 at 6:49 PM CDT
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The site of construction zones is a familiar scene this time of year and that's making it tough for Ivette Martinez to make it from her home in Oakland to work.

"Something is going on in all of them (roads) so I do understand our roads need a lot of work, however, is there any way we can make this a little faster or not at the same time?" asked Martinez.

Topeka has a total of 12 major road projects, 9 neighborhood mill and overlay projects, and 4 signal projects currently underway.

While some projects, such as Topeka Blvd., started this week, others are slowing business for places like the Pizza Parlor, which is barricaded by road closed signs, while construction on Seward Ave. continues.

"It's a new establishment and it's taking a while for people to get here, but once it gets opened up I think it'll be really good,” said manager Cleatus Dinkel. “The business itself is off 50 percent of what it should be.”

More than $37 million are being put in to reconstructing Topeka’s streets - all projects that the city says are strongly needed.

"I think that's one of the toughest parts of our job,” said Director of Topeka Public Works, Jason Peek. “We have to build streets and reconstruct streets in front of businesses and neighbors and we know it impacts you on your way to work or to play, but just be patient give us time and you'll get a brand new street out of it and it'll make your driving smoother.”

This message is one that Pizza Parlor and its customers agree on.

"There ain't anything any of us can do about it,” said Dinkel. “I know these constructors want to make a living and they also want to get it done so they get that paycheck, we are all like that and it's a part of life."

The construction on Seward Avenue is set to be wrapping up in November.