North corridor construction affecting local businesses

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A three year construction plan for the North Corridor in Wichita is scheduled to start Monday. 

Business owners nearby are concerned about what this could mean for them.

Jana Owen's dance studio sits very close to an already busy highway.

"When people are rushing to get their kids picked up from school and get them to their activities, it can grind on your nerves," says Owen.

And it could get worse. Starting Monday, KDOT will begin a major construction project. 

"Most of the inconvenience will be for those drivers on NB i-235 or eastbound K-96," says Tom Hein, with KDOT.

The first phase of the project will repair bridges on I-235 over Broadway and the Little Arkansas river. At times, traffic will be down to just one lane. On weekends, parts of 235 will be completely shut down.

"I do worry...it taking longer for people to get where they need to be," says Owen.

About half of her dancers come from the city's west side. Ashleigh Richards takes her little sister to dance class every week.

"It's another three years that I'm gonna have to change my schedule and my routine around is a little bit frustrating," says Richards.

Many classes start during rush hour, which already causes delays.

"Everybody getting off work, doing whatever they're doing for the weekends, travelling," says Richards.

Owen will encourage parents to take a little extra time to get to dance class and knows in the end, the construction will be worth it.

"Hopefully it will be very streamlined when they're done," says Owen.

The construction is expected to start at 9 a.m. Monday morning and will affect I-234 from Meridian to Broadway. The first phase is expected to cost taxpayers around $65 million.
 

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