top story Meridian Road opens early after tough year for businesses firstname.lastname@example.org HollyBeechMP Aug 30, 2013 (…) MP illustration Meridian Road will be a high-capacity road used for quick access from the interstate to Cherry Lane and beyond, Ada County Highway District spokesman Craig Quintana said. Greg Kreller/MP Idaho Fence Supply, Inc. yard manager Brady Bower stands in front of the business on North Meridian Road where road construction work has prevented customers from using the parking lot. Holly Beech/MP Shirley Earls owned All Shirley Blooms in Meridian for seven years but recently moved the business to Eagle because of construction on Meridian Road. “I can’t survive for a year without any walk-in (business),” she said. Greg Kreller/MP NAPA Auto Parts owner Mike Moir says his Meridian Road business lost $100,000 in profits this year because of the road construction. NAPA’s solution to the reduced traffic was to build napahomedelivery.com, a website that allows customers to shop for products online and have them delivered. MP illustration Meridian Road will be a high-capacity road used for quick access from the interstate to Cherry Lane and beyond. Main Street will have lighter traffic, used by those whose destination is downtown. One year is a long time for a major roadway to be closed. Meridian drivers and businesses know that well by now, 11 months after Meridian Road closed for construction between Franklin Avenue and Cherry Lane for the Meridian Split Corridor Phase II project.But the end is in sight — even sooner than expected. Meridian Road is set to open Sept. 19, one month before the original open date.It’s good news, but it doesn’t make up for the losses Meridian Road businesses suffered. × Advertisement “We’ll end up losing $100,000 in lost profits this year because of it,” NAPA Auto Parts owner Mike Moir said.He said the contractors have been great and he knows the work was necessary.“But by the same token,” he added, “this has taken a year, and that’s an awful tough thing for a small business to swallow, especially after coming off a recession. ... People are starting to spend a little money, and now they can’t get to us. It’s been a frustrating year in that regard.”NAPA dealt with that frustration creatively: the company built napahomedelivery.com — a website where customers can shop online and have products delivered to their homes.Former Meridian Road florist Shirley Earls lost so much business she moved All Shirley Blooms to Eagle.“I was down Mother’s Day almost half of what I did before,” she said. “That’s when we said, ‘We’re done, this is enough.’”Valentine’s Day, prom and wedding season sales also suffered. Walk-in business — normally 20-25 percent of sales — plummeted.“I had two brides and a funeral cancel because they were stuck in traffic,” Earls said.Brides who did come into the shop for consultations left frustrated because of the noise level, she said.“Those big tractors and trucks, it’s like living in a earthquake zone,” Earls said. “It literally bounced a vase off the shelf.”Idaho Fence Supply was one of the “luckier” ones because it relies heavily on wholesale and not walk-in business, yard manager Brady Bower said.“We’re lumber-based, and (with) the housing market turning around, we had a better year this year than we did last year,” he said. “But we didn’t see any of the homeowners like we usually do.”But, he said Meridian Road is going to be a great location, and he expects to see a full recovery in sales to homeowners. For Earls with All Shirley Blooms, bouncing back might take a bit longer, but she’s happy with her new place.“We have to build our revenue back up to be able to hire extra help,” she said. “It’s a recovery process now.”Changes to traffic patternsMeridian Road will be a high-capacity road used for quick access from the interstate to Cherry Lane and beyond, Ada County Highway District spokesman Craig Quintana said.Main Street will have lighter traffic, used by those whose destination is downtown,“It’s going to be a different character, it’s going to be a smaller road,” Quintana said. “... That’s going to be kind of the more old-timey, less congested, less busy downtown that Meridian is eying for its future.”South of Franklin Road, both Meridian Road and Main Street will have one-way traffic.Even after the road opens, the contractor will still be working on a list of various items — such as landscaping, utility connections and curbing — throughout the next month, Quintana said. 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