Sewer Separation Project Squeezing Businesses

When sewer separation work is done in a residential area, it is an inconvenience. When it’s done in a business district, it’s a matter of economic survival.

On North 24th Street, between Lake and Ohio, most of the work is going on outside. Inside, at North Omaha Barbers, four chairs - no waiting. It’s been that way for a few weeks.

Outside, construction crews are working on the city’s sewer separation project. All that work means little work inside for barber shop owner Steve Moore.

“Yeah, it’s a little slow,” he said. “It’s slowing it up a little bit. People are not knowing that we are open because of all the heavy equipment parked in front of our building, so it’s a little tough.”

It’s the same story down the street in Don McPhearson’s clothing store. There isn’t a lot of traffic inside and with construction scheduled to continue into January, it could be that way for a while.

McPhearson said, “It’s going to affect my back-to-school. Then possibly my holiday season. Business is down quite a bit with the jarring of the building and everything going on. They’ve got most of the streets around us closed down. It affects us in every direction.”

All of the business owners in the area know the construction work will be a good thing for the community. They just hope to still be here when the work is complete.

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