Highway 57 construction impacts Kasson businesses

(ABC 6 News) – A main highway in Kasson is back open after being closed since August. The Highway 57 project is costing just under $8 million. But for local business owners the construction is costing some of their customers.

Bruce Houston, owner of Houston’s Greenhouse near Hwy 57 and 11th St. says his business was heavily impacted.

“We never dreamed it would be as bad as it was,” Houston.

He estimates 30 to 50 percent fewer customers during construction, partially due to the business being harder to get to on the roads.

“About every day they’d call and say how do we get to you?”

But Houston says the interruption was worth it. Coming next year the finished product, two new roundabouts, will help his business in the long run. Stationed at Main Street and County Road 34, the community hopes these roundabouts will make intersections safer, with easy access to sidewalks for pedestrians.

Down at the other end of the street is Denise Hazuka at the Country Pleasures Cafe. A Kasson staple for 27 years, Country Pleasures had a better summer than expected.

“I think a lot of people had to go slower and pause and actually saw us,” Hazuka.

However, she’s anxious about the next phase of construction slated to start next year. Between staffing shortages and this upcoming construction Hazuka treated this summer like it was her last at Country Pleasures.

“I just wanted a fun summer in case that was my last summer. With the road and everything going through, I don’t know. I would hope that they would miss me.”

The final phase of construction will be completed in 2023 this includes south of County Road 34 to south of First Street NE.