BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The usually bustling crowd at Pastime restaurant looked a little thin Tuesday night. A glance outside the long-time Baton Rouge business reveals the possible reason why.
South Boulevard is the site of an ongoing city sewer project. Chances are drivers have had to make some of the detours if they have been in the area.
However, it is the latest round of work, which popped up Tuesday morning, that Pastime Owner Randy Wesley said is choking his business, again.
"Today we did about $1,200. We normally do between $4,500 and $5,000," Wesley said.
If this sound familiar, it's because this is not the first time Wesley has had issues with the construction zone.
Barely a month ago Wesley went to social media asking for help, after contractors dug a giant hole in South Boulevard, apparently months ahead of schedule and right in the middle of football season which is Pastime's busiest time of year.
After a flurry of attention, the city agreed to patch the hole and to hold off on some of the construction until after the last LSU home game.
"It all was great. I thought it would be no more problems and that was the end of it, until today," Wesley said.
Wesley said Tuesday morning the road was completely blocked with another construction project.
According to the city's interim environmental services director, Adam Smith, a contractor recently found a "severely corroded" sewer manhole that undermined the street and required an emergency fix. This new work is to make that emergency repair, but it does involve another round of detours and construction.
"We understand it is Halloween weekend and a busy time for businesses in the area. Every effort has been made to minimize disruption to the area. The manhole could not have been left as it was since it posed a public safety issue," Smith said.
According to Smith, the intersection of St. Phillip and South Boulevard will be closed while crews work during the day, but lanes will be reopened in the evenings.
"Access to the Pastime Restaurant and 13th Gate parking lots are not restricted by this work. We are opening one of the eastbound lanes of South Boulevard between River Road and St. Phillip Street this evening once work is completed for the day," Smith said.
Smith also said the work should be completed by Friday night. That's something that Wesley says can't come soon enough.