NIXA, Mo.– Downtown Nixa business owners are starting to grow frustrated with nearby road construction on Route 14, where a MoDOT road widening project is underway.

They said the new congestion is causing fewer customers to come through the door.

Owner of Canton Buffet, Kenny Nguyen, said this is all coming at a bad time.

“We just got over COVID,” said Nguyen. “I’m just trying to keep the door open right now as long as I can.”

Nguyen said business parking spots are being taken away to make room for road improvements.

“Before this whole process we had 27 parking places,” said Nguyen. “Now they took half of our property, so we have 11 spaces.”

MoDOT officials said part of the plan is to widen Mt. Vernon Street (Route 14) to five lanes between Fort Street and Tiffany Boulevard in Nixa.

The Canton Buffet isn’t the only small business struggling. Main Mercantile Owner, Debbie Moore, said the construction is affecting all downtown businesses.

“If you’re coming from Ozark, you can’t make a left-hand turn on Main Street at all,” said Moore.

Moore said they just want people to realize they are open.

“There are alternate routes to get around that intersection,” said Moore.

She said it will be a blessing when the road is converted into five lanes. Until then, Moore said it’s causing a headache.

Both business owners encourage people to stop by and show some support.

Businesses are working on creative ways to draw people to the area. They are currently discussing having more activities take place on the street to draw potential customers in.

The final project should be completed by May 2023. For more information, click here.

The city of Nixa also released a map highlighting alternate routes