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McCarty Opens After Construction

A major multimillion dollar road project wrapped up in Jefferson City Wednesday morning. It opened up a stretch of East McCarty that’s been closed for more than a year and caused headaches for residents and businesses.The hope now is the new roads and sidewalks will make the area safer and more business friendly.A complete makeover of McCarty Street through the East side has taken years and cost more than 4 Million dollars. Sidewalks line both sides of the road and drivers have a turning lane and a new intersection.However, one iconic business was hurt bad by the construction and is looking toward the end of the chaos as a beginning of a rebound. When ABC 17 News stopped by the Daisy Delight in October of 2011, owner Jerry Bartel knew it’d be a tough year ahead. “Every summer for the past eight years, McCarty has been closed somewhere between Eastland and the highway,” said Bartel.At this point it is now 14 months later, and Bartel is shocked the Daisy can continue to Delight. “I should have closed last year, I lost 75 percent of my business, but I have employees that have been here almost 20 years and I just couldn’t do it,” said Bartel.He is now hoping new progress on McCarty Street will bring back old business. A year ago it was impossible to cross McCarty and Eastland, and continue walking on a sidewalk. That was a problem for two reasons, Lewis and Clark Middle School students and people walking to Walmart were then left with no walkway.Safety was key, but not the only motivator for the project. The changes help motivate economic development in the area and start helping businesses there grow.While the city and county look for new business to add, the Daisy Delight is looking to get some back. “I’d just like people to realize McCarty is open, there’s no more detours, don’t have to go through the neighborhoods to get here and we’d just like everyone to come back,” said Bartel.Jefferson City and Cole County are now making plans with Missouri Department of Transportation for a big interchange where Lafayette Street meets Highway 50 East.

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