FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Nearly 40 percent of the borough's population drives through the University Avenue and Johansen Expressway intersection on average, every day. But by the end of the month, the Johansen will be closed, along with access to Geist through University Avenue.
We spoke with several local businesses in the West Valley plaza, and there were a lot of mixed feelings about the closure. Owners were concerned about how it's going to impact their business and customer convenience; but overall, people were positive about road reconstruction in the long run.
Geist will be closed to thru traffic, but people can still access these businesses from the west side near Chena Pump road and the Mitchell expressway. Small businesses are at risk when construction season hits and people often avoid the confusion and inconvenience of delays. But local businesses on Geist want to assure people they'll be open for business despite the disruption.
"It's going to impact us but I don't think it's going to be that drastic," said Joseph Vargas, dentist.
"As for the people I actually provide services here, it's going to be difficult. Just don't take any time off, get the job done," said Peter Van Flein, financial adviser.
"I personally believe it's going to hurt businesses here some this summer because people aren't going to want to deal with it," said Karmen Shoemaker, hair stylist.
It might be an inconvenience, but businesses will still be open for the summer.