Locals are fed up with the O'Neal Lane construction, businesses are severly suffering

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POSTED: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 12:06pm

The construction on O’Neal Lane has been going on for a long time.  It has residents and businesses up in arms. The construction is part of the cities Green Light Plan and locals are ready for it to be over with.

It's safe to say that O’Neal Lane is a big mess; no matter the time of day, traffic is frustrating for locals.

Since the beginning of this construction project, many businesses on the stretch of road have lost a lot of business and even had to lay people off.

It’s been almost five years of cones, fork lifts, and closed roads.

"It's a moving date. They are out working and we are hoping wishing for them to get as quick as possible," says local business owner, Billy Francioni.

Billy Francioni says the project is not only taking what seems like forever; it's causing a huge problem for his businesses.

"I think since 2009 with the interstate and the widening of the road, we are now off more than 55 percent in sales for gasoline inside sales and the Subway," says Francioni.

Residents like Chris Dunn say the traffic is not his only concern.

"This trash pile has been here for 4 years plus and of course when I drive my truck it gets dirty every time" says Dunn. “It takes you 2 or 3 light cycles to get out of the Wal-Mart parking lot much less go shopping there.”

Francioni is loosing business but hes also very concerned for the future. Even after it’s all said and done, his business could still suffer.

“They can’t get out of the gas station,” noted Francioni. “So when it gets completed, if ever gets completed, were going to be in worse shape than when the started because they didn't solve the bottle neck by the interstate."

So with a project that is supposed to improve and area in the long run, right now is only causing businesses to suffer and locals even more frustration. But it’s a project that the city says will be worth the wait.

Originally the project was supposed to be completed in 2011 but they extended the project's contract to November of this year. The city says that contract will be extended even further due to the weather. Right now we don't have an exact date on completion but NBC33 will update as we learn more.

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I have never in my entire life seen such a sloppy construction job. It's been going on AT LEAST since I moved back to Baton Rouge (off O'Neal) in Dec 2009. Barber Bros is NEVER out there and when they are, like Jmacaroon said, they are just standing around on cell phones or talking to each other. Don't be fooled by garbage excuses like weather or unforseen things. They are just NEVER there and NEVER working. I live there; I would know.

Barber Brother should be banned from all city and state contracts they never finish on time and there workers stand around.

This construction has been ridiculous. We watch every morning on the way to work. There may be 5 people there on site, one man will be fiddling with a shovel and the rest sit and watch. The city or state need to quit going for lowest bidding contractor, like they say...you get what you pay for. It has personally hurt our business. We work in North Baton Rouge, no matter what time we try to leave we always arrive 30 mins late so we've just had to start telling people we open at 8:30.

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