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Water line repair affecting local businesses

Johnston St Water Main Bursts
Posted at 10:10 PM, Jan 31, 2023

LAFAYETTE, L.a. — The water is now at bay after Monday's busted water line on Johnston Street, but owners of various local businesses near the burst site say the effects of the incident still remain — whether it be in the form of customer complaints, traffic, plumbing issues, or simply a lack of business.

"I noticed it was taking me a long time to get back here, there's usually not as much traffic coming in that direction," said Melanie Cunningham, owner of local children's store Melodi's Belles and Beaus, near the intersection of Johnston Street and Bertrand Drive in Lafayette. "Then I could just see all the water and everybody having to get over into the left lane, and that's when I knew there was a problem."

Unlike other business owners, she does not have plumbing issues to worry about. She told KATC, however, she shares different concerns.

"The loss of revenue is the most important factor, as well as the safety of our customers, you know, we want everybody to get here safely and leave safely," Cunningham continued. "I just think that if they take too long to fix it, it's really going to start to affect all of the businesses' income and revenue and I would hate to see that happen. I think it should be a priority of the city to get that fixed."

According to local and state officials, it is indeed a priority, but inclement weather is causing a hold-up.

"Right now, we have some road plates in place, normally there's material we put around it but because of the weather material is not doing what it's supposed to do," said Alex Antonowitsch, public information specialist for Lafayette Utility System. "So we do still have it blocked off, we're looking at maybe a few days to a week for it to be repaired, right now we're just waiting to see what kind of permit we need from the Department of Transportation, then we'll work in conjunction with public works to get it fixed."

But Antonowitsch told KATC it could take longer. As for the cost, there is no word yet from LUS regarding how much the repairs will cost or how they are being funded.

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