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Local businesses feel effect of Sela Ward Parkway construction

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:06 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Construction on Sela Ward Parkway started earlier this week but businesses in the construction area are already being affected.

“A dramatic, dramatic, dramatic difference, before it happened, we had huge sales, and our sales every day, especially on Sunday, would be like a Black Friday every week,” Queen City Deal Co-Owner, Sally Ali, said, “80% of our traffic has slowed down”

Ali said that she has had to cut down her workforce of 10 to two, leaving eight people on stand-by, waiting to work.

Queen City Deals is not the only business being affected, one of 22nd Avenue’s oldest businesses, Sanders gas, is feeling it too.

“Right now, it’s hurting just because we can’t get in and out that way,” Sanders Gas owner, Chuck Sanders, said. “We’re moving our traffic back to the back of the building, trying to facilitate our customers getting in. So, hopefully, they’re able to get in.”

Drivers are frustrated too, they told WTOK that construction has slowed them down, and getting on and off the street has become more dangerous.

Ali said that she and other businesses have not been told how long this will take, WTOK has been told Spring of 2023. For now, businesses will just have to coexist and adapt until work is done.

“I love the aftermath, which is what’s going to happen, the sidewalks, considering downtown and the children’s museum. But the problem, as of right now, we’re trying to keep the message out that we are still open,” Ali said.

“First we will say that we’re thankful that we are trying to do some good things here in the city. All of us down here on 22nd Avenue want that, we are the gateway to the city. Nothing like this is done without a little bit of pain and suffering.”

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