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20th Street Overpass Set to Open - KOAM TV 7

20th Street Overpass Set to Open

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

The 20th Street overpass in Joplin is expected to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. But some residents and business owners haven't been happy with it. However, that could soon change.
The clothing racks at New to Me Consignment are full but customers haven't been in to shop. Owner Donna Bundy says construction on the 20th street overpass is to blame.
“It’s just such a heavy construction area that everyone’s tired of it and they don’t know what’s going to be open so they just stay away from the area,” says Bundy.
She says it's had a devastating impact on her business.
“My sales dropped more than 50 percent,” Bundy adds.
For Bundy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. City officials say the overpass will open early next week.
“There will still be some minor punch list items to do but those can take place while under traffic so we want to open it as soon as we can so that people can start enjoying the benefits of the bridge,” says Dan Salisbury with the City of Joplin Public Works Department.
The only thing left to do before cars can pass over the bridge is striping. City officials say that task is weather permitting but expect it to be done at the start of the week.

Businesses along 20th Street say they hope once traffic is flowing on the streets, the same will happen in their stores.
“I expect it to take probably a while before people will trust that its open and get the word that it is open but hoping that it will revitalize the area,” says Bundy.
City officials say there is a silver lining to the delays, a savings of $2,825 each day.
“We would've rather had it done right on the deadline or sooner but I have had citizens tell me well they see that as a positive, take as long as you need because there’s a financial benefit to the city," says Salisbury.
Bundy plans to draw customers back to her store with a reopening.
She says she also might "dance in the streets, that’s how excited i am for it to open."
A dedication ceremony for the overpass will be held on Tuesday October 11th.

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