Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

After link to Lecompton closed, store lost business

Douglas County official says redecking project on schedule

April 26, 2007

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At 5 p.m. Friday, Michael Wooden will close his furniture store in Perry for the last time.

Michael Wooden, left, owner of Wooden's Outdoor Furniture in Perry, and his father-in-law, Gary Jump, Lawrence, who helps out at the store, are closing the store Friday. Wooden says the dramatic drop in business because of the closing of the Lecompton bridge for repairs convinced him to close up shop. Wooden and Jump were at the store Wednesday.

Michael Wooden, left, owner of Wooden's Outdoor Furniture in Perry, and his father-in-law, Gary Jump, Lawrence, who helps out at the store, are closing the store Friday. Wooden says the dramatic drop in business because of the closing of the Lecompton bridge for repairs convinced him to close up shop. Wooden and Jump were at the store Wednesday.

The store has become a victim of the closing of the Kansas River bridge at Lecompton, he said.

"It's been really unusually slow in this town," said Wooden, who opened Wooden's Outdoor Furniture store in 2005. "I had a large customer base coming in from Lecompton and the Lawrence area, but since we're not a necessity store, this isn't a place you have to come to."

The bridge, a link between Lecompton and Perry, was closed March 12. Douglas County commissioners decided to close the bridge to expedite its reconstruction. Jefferson County commissioners initially opposed the bridge closing and favored keeping it open to one lane. But last fall's election led to a change in the commission lineup and Jefferson County voted to support Douglas County in the closing.

The contract with A.M. Cohron & Son Inc. for redecking the bridge calls for an Aug. 10 completion, so the start of school in the Perry-Lecompton district won't be disrupted. Douglas County offered incentives - up to $10,000 per day up to 15 days - for early completion.

The project is on schedule, said Mike Perkins, operations manager for the Douglas County Public Works Department.

Wooden, who specializes in making Adirondacks furniture, will continue to work and sell from his home, but the store won't reopen.

While the Lecompton bridge will be closed for at least three more months, another key bridge at the northern edge of Lawrence has reopened. The Kasold Drive bridge over the Kansas Turnpike was reconstructed to make it long enough to cover widening of the turnpike to six lanes.

But motorists have to take a detour to get to it because Kasold south of the bridge to Peterson Road is being reconstructed. That project is expected to continue until October, said Dena Mezger, assistant public works director for the city of Lawrence.

The detour to the bridge is on Monterey Way and Grand Vista Drive.

Comments

KS 7 years, 11 months ago

With all due respect, this store closing was't due to the bridge repairs. If you have a good product and a client base, they will find you.

concernedparent 7 years, 11 months ago

Its a great store and he's very talented. He made me a sign for Christmas and did a fantastic job. Too bad to hear about his business.

lmm 7 years, 11 months ago

I enjoyed shopping in this unique store....would fit right into the Lawrence market....too bad more didn't venture there.

The owner is personable, hands on, and enthusiastic his work. Hope all works out for him.

I think it was a SHAME that it was not negotiated to keep the bridge open. Politics.

countrygirl 7 years, 11 months ago

I didn't even know it was there. We have family that lives north of Perry, so we're in the area quite a bit.

oldgoof 7 years, 11 months ago

I feel badly for this genetmans business, but I also think it is unfortunate that after Lawrence and Douglas County spent the vast majority of the money on the bridge and that people are still whining.

I think it was a SHAME that it was not just let deteriorate and close. Politics.

fletch 7 years, 11 months ago

I feel sorry for him, but that's a market economy for you. It's cold, impersonal, and you can't always anticipate the randomness of it.

lunacydetector 7 years, 11 months ago

how many businesses close due to road construction? a lot. why does it take so long to get these jobs done? i think government bureaucracies don't give a hoot about their decisions and the effects on businesses when it comes to road construction, be it local, state or federal. just look at 6th & wakarusa and all the businesses that were negatively affected - hereford house gone, hallmark store gone, etc., etc. then there is kasold still under construction. i bet that bike shop is hurting.

closing off the bridge in perry/lecompton AND north kasold (which should've been started and completed 5 years ago - thanks to the progressives for taking state earmarked dollars for kasold and sending them to replace sewer lines in east lawrence), was idiocy.

coolmarv 7 years, 11 months ago

I doubt that the customers from Lecompton were keeping the business going. There just isn't that many families in Lecompton. I agree, Highway 24?? My dad traveled to Perry daily to talk with the croonies over coffee. He is surviving. Somedays he justs go through Lawrence.

Jeteras 7 years, 11 months ago

That there is some good reporting. Yea road construction took my business?!? "I had a large customer base coming in from Lecompton and the Lawrence area" Umm does anyone find this strange??? Since how his "Large customer base" DOES NOT CROSS THE BRIDGE! jeez. Now this is some news I tell ya.

Staci Dark Simpson 7 years, 11 months ago

I am still mad over Taco Casa closing due to road construction on 6th. They were awesome. Small businesses just can't take it when there is no easy access point.

Michael Stanclift 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think that was the only reason Taco Casa closed.

KS 7 years, 11 months ago

Others said it best! Highway 24? The business did not close because of the bridge closure. It did so because of other issues and I am sorry to see it happen, but be factual in the reporting.

LJWJohn 7 years, 11 months ago

Sad, Nobody thinks about the small guy when they get these projects going. It's blinders on untill the jod is done, then on to the next. Do you think the county is concerned than Mr. Wooden lost his business? I doubt it! My thoughts are with you Mr. Wooden!

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