Lake businesses taking a hit with new bypass

With the new Highway 54 bypass around Osage Beach, businesses said they are taking a hit.

KRCG TMs Meghan Lane went to the tourist destination and spoke with a local business owner and residents.

It TMs Sunday TMs Facebook story of the day.

"It has effected us, it's effected everybody through here," Kay TMs restaurant owner Ron Parsons said.

He said so far the new expressway hasn't helped his business but he can't blame it all of the restaurants hardships on the expressway

"But we've also got an economy that's gone sour on us," Parsons said.

Several people KRCG spoke with said the new expressway is hurting business, they said fewer people are coming in, generating less money for the area, they said more businesses are going to end up like Pasta House with their doors closed.

"We've had seven businesses shut down, nobody can find Walmart," Osage Beach resident Barbara Urban said.

"The one-way traffic has taken 50% of the traffic that we did have, it's taken it off of the road," Parsons said.

While many said the new expressway is hurting business, they said the true test will start this weekend, when vacationers come to the area.

"I'm thinking going through the holidays and going through June and July we'll get a better idea of how much this road has hurt us or helped us," parsons said.

Memorial Day weekend is just days away and restaurant owners like Parsons are excited about the increase in business with vacationers but Barbara Urban is worried.

"Maybe it will work out but for right now, I'm really worried about how many people are going to die this coming weekend," Urban said.

She said vacationers won't be use to the new roadway and things could get dangerous.

"What are we going to do when everybody gets down here, they're confused, people are going the wrong way, I feel sorry for our law enforcement," Urban said.

"It could be messy" Parsons said.

Parsons and Urban both said it takes time to learn the ins and outs of the parkway.

They suggest paying attention to the signs and taking your time.

The expressway opened less than a year ago and Memorial Day weekend will be the first time many summer vacationers driver through.