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Bryant businesses hope to see more customers after roadwork progress

A portion of Highway 5 in Bryant is now complete with 5 lanes of the road open— but how has that construction impacted local businesses?

BRYANT, Ark. — Road construction is something none of us look forward to, especially if we live or work near it.

If you've driven down Highway 5 in Bryant within the last few days, you probably noticed that part of the road expansion is done. 

It's something that business owners in the area have waited to happen for a long time— fewer cones will mean more customers for businesses in the area.

"It's been a long time coming and I tell you what, we can't be more thrilled with this finished," said Jessica Scott, owner of Sugardumplin's.

That was her initial thought after seeing the five lanes completed in front of her bakery. 

"We've been busier this week than we have in a while, so I don't know you know if it's the roads being open but we're, we're claiming that," Scott added.

During the bulk of the construction, she saw about a 10% decrease in sales. 

"At some point, they would have both driveways closed for like an hour or two in a day. And that was rough," she said.

While it's good to have them open again, there have been downsides. 

"It is steep. So, it's kind of we're kind of down in a hole. But we have a lot of faithful customers that know we're here. It's the ones that are new to us or new to our community that kind of have a hard time finding us right now. But we're working on it," Scott explained.

Just across the parking lot at Letta's Flowers, Supervisor Iris Carden said that's something she's still adjusting to. 

"People can't see us anymore. So it's hard for us to do window decorations anymore because they can't see it anyway," Carden added.

But at the end of the day, Carden said she's just glad they don't have to dodge traffic barrels anymore. 

"Several of us have hit barrels because they just had them too close to us getting out of the parking lot," she said. "I'm glad that we'll be able to move in and out." 

She hopes to see more customers now that the roadwork is done. 

Even though that portion of the road is finished, there is still more work to be done. 

The entire Highway 5 road project is expected to be completed by late spring or early summer, according to ARDOT.

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