MANDEVILLE -- The road widening project on Highway 190 in Mandeville will eventually bring extra lanes, new sidewalks and improved drainage to the busy area between Asbury and Lonesome roads. But for now, people say it's only brought cluttered traffic, clustered work materials and a crunch on business bank accounts.
Owner of Rapture, Susie Malloy, said, "They will tell me all the time, ‘I'm sorry. I'm avoiding that area. It takes too long to get through,’ so it’s a big effect."
"We've seen a drop in our numbers and a drop in our sales the last couple of months because of this," said Kayla Herrington, marketing director at N’Tini’s.
DOTD started the project in the middle of May. But the $11 million job hit a snag soon after when the wrong catch basins were delivered. The weeks that followed with this lack of activity struck a nerve.
"I was contacted by several businesses in this area to see if there was a solution to the problem," said Councilwoman Carla Buchholz.
So Thursday night, the Mandeville Council voted to suspend the city's sign ordinance. The goal is to allow businesses to place temporary signs closer to the road in an effort to get customers coming back in.
Buchholz said, “It will actually show their customers exactly how to enter their businesses and that they're open for business."
While the city council has given its support to relaxing the sign rules in Mandeville, it still requires the mayor to give the thumbs up. He says he's already given the city directive to work with the businesses.
Herrington said, "It’s nice to know that they have our backs and they're trying to do anything they can to help."
The mayor plans to meet with DOTD and the businesses to determine where the temporary signs should be placed. DOTD says the project is three weeks behind and should be complete in the spring.