Construction projects hurting Kearns businesses, shop owners say
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
KEARNS — The sign in the window at Durfey's Dry Cleaners says "open," but the reflection in the window says construction.
That construction has been going on since March and has hurt businesses in the area, some as much as 50 percent.
"Yes, it's just killing us," said Diana Bird, owner of the dry cleaning business at 5455 S. 4015 West. "I keep telling everybody, 'Two more months. Just two more months, hopefully.'"
Bird, who has worked at Durfey's for the past 28 years, said she's never seen something hurt business so much.
"Yeah, we are in survival mode," she said.
Construction projects along 5400 South and Bangerter are making it tough for drivers to get around. Projects the Utah Department of Transportation is working on in the area include widening 5400 South from five to seven lanes from Bangerter Highway to 4800 West, adding a new crosswalk near 4420 South, a through-turn intersection at 5400 South and 4015 West, and putting up several new traffic lights in the area.
It's not impossible to get around, but it is inconvenient. Many businesses put up signs saying they are still open during the road work.
"We don't want them to forget about us at all," said Nora McDonald, manager of Stan's Market.
The mom-and-pop grocery store is set right in the middle of all the construction. Loyal customers still shop at their store, but McDonald said most of the traffic lately has been drivers using their parking lot as a construction zone shortcut.
"We did expect it, but for maybe a little bit shorter period of time," she said. "We didn’t know it was going to go on so long. They came in and said the end of September. Now they're saying November."
Bird and other local business owners say they're concerned that continuing construction means customers will stay away. The project is now expected to be completed in November. Business owners hope that it ends before the holiday season arrives.
"We're gonna hold on as long as the customers will let us," Bird said.