U.S. 31 construction takes toll on business

(WTHR file photo of US-31 construction)

Construction on U.S. 31 in Carmel is months away from completion, but some businesses can't wait that long.

There are always developments to tell you about on the U.S. 31 project in Hamilton County. The immediate development involves 111th Street between Old Meridian and U.S. 31. Right now, folks are using the street, but they won't be able to next week.

The westbound lanes are already closed, which is already having an effect on businesses in the area.

Business at Jersey's Cafe on North Meridian Street is down 66 percent - that's two-thirds of its income. They've gone from 35 employees down to six and now, the owners are exploring options to relocate.

The restaurant was featured on the show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network, but everything has been downhill since then.

"Once the road disappeared, the business dropped off in the $50,000-60,000 range every month. So we went from $100,000 back in September to $60,000 now," said owner Blair Laing. "So for us, it has been a huge drain."

Right now, traffic is moving briskly along U.S. 31, but that will stop in mid-September. That is when they will close it to work on an overpass to be located here. But the overpass at Main Street and 31 will be opened about the same time.