Restaurant owner says road closers are hurting business

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LENEXA, Kan. -- The street closures are affecting businesses along the highway in different ways. Some say the construction hasn’t been a problem; others have seen a dramatic drop in customers.

Orange cones, road closures and detours, that’s the new normal for anyone driving through 95th street and I-35. The extensive Johnson County Gateway Project is underway.

It’s a complete overhaul of the K-10, I-35 and I-435 interchange. And the construction is not going away any time soon.

All ramps to and from 1-35 and 95th street from Noland Road to Monrovia St will be closed for six months.  Rulber DeLatorre owns Mi Ranchito, a restaurant located right by the interchange road work.

“There’s nothing you can do to prepare yourself,” said Rulber DeLatorre, the owner of Mi Ranchito. “We’ve got a lot of calls, people asking us if we’re open or how do we get to your store,” he said.

In fact, he said business is down 30 percent compared to last year. He’s even put out a sign to let visitors know they’re open. That’s not the same case for other surrounding businesses.

“I had a supervisor meeting and told them all it was coming down and to come to work 15 minutes earlier because I thought the 87 exit would really back up but it really hasn’t,” says Beth Cotton of Zarda BBQ.

This is nearing the end of the three-year high way project. It’s been a rough for DeLatorre but he’s not giving up.

“I will never get used to being slow. We’ll find a way to get people coming here. There’s not a chance we’re closing,” said DeLatorre.

For more info on road closures, check out the project's website.