Johnson Ave. Construction Ends, but Still Causing Problems for Businesses

APRIL 19, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:45 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The widening of Johnson Avenue in Jonesboro has been a three year headache for many businesses along the road. Though the construction has come to an end, the damages made from the work are left behind. Lana Turner owns Lana's Hair Care and Turner's Warehouse Furniture, two businesses that were once always busy, but she says that has all changed.


"During the three year process of their construction, my husband has had to start another business because our business is down 75%," says Lana Turner, owns two businesses on Johnson.


For three weeks, customers could not get in and out of the store, all because of a hole left in the driveway from the construction. Though this problem has since been fixed, other problems still remain.


The list of problems is long including structural damage to the buildings, hardly any parking, and most importantly, hardly any customers.


"We called the highway department. They came down and looked at it and they said we're sorry. They even brought in an insurance person but they never did anything," says Turner.


What about the other businesses along the street? The Totem Pole, a long time pawn shop on Johnson, is dealing with the same problem. They said they are only making a fourth of what they made in profits before this project began. So what about the compensation?


"Some have been paid, some have not. We have not. They take your property and they take your drive ways out," says Turner.


Regardless, Turner said she's pleased that roads, just like Johnson, are being improved. But she strongly believes in the old saying; If you broke it, you should have to fix it.


"The people along here, we're not against the highway department or having a better road, but it just needs to be fair for everyone involved," says Turner.


We also tried to talk with the highway department, but they were unable to be reached when we tried to contact them after 5:00 Wednesday evening.