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Bend Westside businesses struggling amid Newport Avenue closures are banding together for support

(Update: Adding video, comments from Westside businesses)

'Our business has dropped at least 40% over the past year,' Chow Head Chef, Brian Kerr says.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Some things are known to be common inconveniences, like slow-speed internet, or in this case of some local businesses, road construction. 

The businesses along Newport Avenue on Bend's Westside are feeling the pain of a major city improvement project meant to replace aging sewer and water pipelines.

The Newport Corridor Improvements project currently underway has made it difficult for customers to get to some businesses.

The co-owner of Nancy P's Café and Bakery, Katy Clabough, said Wednesday that from struggles brought on by the pandemic to the current detours and the like, it feels like going from one hardship to another.

"So going from that, finally we thought we’d have a break and it would be a little less stressful -- and then the city closed our roads," Clabough said. "For good reason -- I can understand why they’re doing it. But nevertheless, it’s still hard on us.”

Nancy P’s Bakery and Chow are two businesses in the current construction zone that note a change in business flow.

“People coming from the east or the south part of town are having a difficult time, because they see the street is completely shut down, our parking is impacted, and I would say our business has dropped at least 40% over the past year," Chow Head Chef Brian Kerr said. "Normally, we would have quite a few tables happening in the restaurant. Currently, we only have three tables in there.”

As a means to foster community support, some businesses affected by the construction have banded together to promote each other and remind people that they’re open.

"So yesterday, we created a video to highlight our neighborhood, to help direct people with how to get here to our businesses and just to show you the people that work here, because they’re amazing people," Clabough said.

The City of Bend said all access to businesses will remain open through the alleyways and asked for continued patience as the process to replace deficient city infrastructure continues.

The goal of the two-year project, being done in phases, is to replace failing stormwater infrastructure and aging sewer and water pipes to improve safety and connectivity for all users. It extends along Newport Avenue from College Way to Ninth Street and on Nashville Avenue to the Deschutes River. 

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.


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