Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Mantorville businesses see end of construction tunnel

Downtown Mantorville businesses are “struggling,” one restaurant owner says, but the road construction project that has torn up Highway 57 passing through downtown is nearly over.

“That’s the bright side, said Sakhann “Michelle” Douk, co-owner of the County Seat Coffeehouse in downtown Mantorville. What’s more, customers have been loyal during the mayhem.

“We do have people who have come to support us, so we’re doing OK,” Douk said. “We are looking forward to the construction being over. I hope people will stay patient with us. This will be done and over sooner rather than later.”

Lynnette Nash, owner of The Chocolate Shoppe in downtown Mantorville, said “it’s significant” when asked how much business she’s lost during construction. She estimates it at 45 percent.

Nash said the bridge being closed for 10 days was brutal, Highway 14 being under construction doesn’t help, and the poor weather has been another factor in the sales downturn.

“It’s moving along,” Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Dougherty said of Highway 57 construction. “They’re talking about when they can start paving in the near future. Local traffic can still access homes and businesses.”

If you’re just traveling through Mantorville, you’re directed to take the detour, he said.

“But if Mantorville is your destination to shop or eat or live, you can get there,” Dougherty said.

As for the end of the construction, he said crews are shooting for the end of July. The key target is to get the project completed prior to Marigold Days, which is scheduled for Sept. 7-8.

Dougherty said Mantorville is a town that “has some pride and takes care of itself. That’s been helpful as we try to get information out. Construction is disruptive and communication is so important. When you have people with a vested interest to get messages out, it works better.”

Mantorville Mayor Chuck Bradford said businesses have been negatively impacted by the Highway 57 construction but are “open and eager for new and existing customers to come back.”


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