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July 20, 2013

Minor headaches,major potential in downtown Jeffersonville work

Chestnut Street reconstruction worth the wait, business owners say



Both business owners said the temporary closure and the promise of what will eventually open as a gateway to downtown Jeffersonville will be worth the minor headaches.

“We’re not opposed to this at all, we’re very excited,” Williams said.

Vissing agreed and said she expects when the Big Four Bridge ramp is completed, which is anticipated in November, customers will be driven to the area and it will boost sales.

A recent count of users entering on the Kentucky side of the Big Four Bridge during a nine-day period in June showed that 45,000 pedestrians and 4,500 bicyclists accessed the bridge.

“It’s going to drastically increase business down here,” Vissing said. “If I even got 10 percent [of the people] that would be great and I’m thinking of all the shops down here [will benefit].”

With the expectations of an increase in business, local shops are also taking steps to prepare for the new customers.

“We’re going to be upping our staff,” Vissing said. “We started a buffet on the weekends and [we will] reinstate our liquor license.”

She explained that the coffee shop and cafe decided not to renew its liquor license a few years ago because the demand wasn’t there. With the influx of people crossing over the bridge into Jeffersonville, that’s expected to change.

Vissing said the changes will probably be implemented this fall.

For Williams the ultimate business impact will not be as measured. Even with the immediate construction impact lasting a little longer for her, she said the business will be fine.

“We’ll get through this, it’s only a 60-day project ... you know we’ve been here 15 years, in the big scheme of things 60 days is just a [brief time],” Williams said. “The big calamity of this project will not really occur until they take away our sidewalk to replace [it].”

But Williams added she is already trying to put plans in place to create an area for guests to be able to load and unload their luggage when the sidewalk construction is ongoing. She said she and her husband were looking ahead when they purchased two parking spots on Pearl Street because they knew the construction project was likely and that is was also likely that they were going to lose two spots out in front of their business because of the project.

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