Kokomo business owners want relief from year-long construction project

KOKOMO, Ind. — A construction project on Markland Avenue from Washington to Apperson Way is concerning drivers and business owners in Kokomo.

Finishing Touch Beauty Salon and Store is close to going out of business.

“Because it’s so hard for people to get in here,” explained owner Kiara Hart.

The project on Markland Ave. has lasted a year now.

“I just want them to just open up Markland so our business can get to how it used to be,” said Hart.

Nolan Born with the Department of Development City of Kokomo sent the following statement:

"The project began in July of 2018. We were able to coordinate with private utilities so that they did scheduled work beforehand to avoid the street being torn up again. It is scheduled to be open by August 2nd which is just after our planned date of July 31st After all three lanes are open, we’ll still be doing some finishing touches such as placing sod and planting trees.

We value open communication with our citizens and business owners. I’ve checked with our engineering and Mayor office and neither have been contacted by the business owners. We welcome them to reach out by calling our City Hall with questions.

Of course as with any construction projects that cause a temporary inconvenience, you are going to receive complaints. In the case of this project, there are private companies involved. So a few of those inconveniences such as water shut off are not done by the City of Kokomo. Duke Energy, Nipsco, Indiana America Water, were all involved with infrastructure upgrades.

The goal of the project was to upgrade underground infrastructure including sanitary sewers for flood mitigation. Also, the area not seen an street update in decades. By reducing four lanes to three lanes the street will now become more friendly to businesses and pedestrians."

Hart said she did contact the city but she isn't sure who she spoke with. Whoever it was would not give her a timeline for the project so she contacted the news to try to get answers.

Tracy Johnson only drives in this area if she has to. She said other drivers are avoiding it because they don't want to tear up their cars. Some people are getting caught in the steep edge of the road due to construction on Markland.

“So I know the tire business is booming right now,” said Johnson.

No cars were parked at Banner’s Flower House on Wednesday. The owner, Janice Lagzdins said she understands people wanting to dodge construction.

“I’m begging customers to come, please, but, be careful,” said Lagzdins.

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