Lindale Mall businesses impacted by Collins Road construction

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - The $7.4 million Collins Road improvement project is aimed to make getting in and out of Lindale Mall easier, but some business owners say they are seeing a decline in foot traffic because of it.

“Even the normal mall walkers aren’t coming in as much,” Corn Fusion’s Blake Erceg said. “We all kind of agree around here, it’s tough to get the foot traffic.”

Corn Fusion sits on the inside of the mall near Sears. Due to the decline, it is finding new ways to bring customers in like participating in area farmer’s markets and offering in store discounts.

That is a trend for other businesses along the road, including Beck’s Taproom Grill. It is offering more reward offers and pushing toward social media.

“We’re really going to have to fight for the business, and go out and make customers want to come here. We’re well known for our burgers, and tenderloins, and service, but in order to get people to brave the construction we really got to go out there and show them what we’re all about,” Brand Manager Steven Hambelton said.

Hambelton said he has talked with other businesses along the mall, and many seem to agree.

“Business is down and it’s definitely making an impact on us, but we’re all trying to do our best to keep customers coming through the door,” he said.

Lindale Mall released this statement on the matter:

“As we all know, the summer brings construction season, and we are no exception. The planned City and State improvement project will bring better access, traffic flow, utility improvements and new pedestrian access from Collins Road to the Center. We expect the Collins Road entrance to be opened in the next few days and we thank everyone for their patience and use of our other three entrances through Northland, Twixt Town Road and First Avenue!"

The city of Cedar Rapids released this statement:

"Collins Road is a significant business corridor, and we've taken intentional measures to reduce business impacts during the course of construction. While there will be lane reductions, business access has always remained open. We have also scheduled closures to occur overnight instead of during the day. Additionally, the contract was written to keep all lanes open during the busy holiday shopping season.

While construction is never convenient, the project will increase the capacity on Collins Rd and make it easier for residents to access the businesses - in the long run, this project will make it easier for people to access the businesses on Collins Rd."

Construction is set to end in Spring of 2019.