BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Barksdale Boulevard between Traffic and Arcadia streets is back open.
The 2-block section in downtown Bossier City was closed for a few months to transform the 4-lane roadway to 2 lanes and to replace utility lines.
It's all part of the city's downtown re-envisioning plan. But the work took a toll on the businesses there.
"We've been pretty depressed," said Beth Carr, owner of Bayou Belle Collectors and Traders Market.
Business at the antique shop was so slow that they didn't make enough to pay rent and turned to loans to keep their doors open, she said.
"We have survived, just by a hair."
Fortunately, Carr added, the vendors who rent space in her shop have been understanding. "Our vendors have been wonderful; and I appreciate that so, so, so much."
To help rebuild business, Carr said she plans to have a book signing at 1 p.m. Oct. 14 at her antique shop. The focus will be "Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad," by Linda Swain Bethea.
Downtown Ink moved in next door to Bayou Belle during the construction because the tattoo shop's owner saw the area's potential.
"She just saw the future being big for it; this is where she wanted to be," Downtown INK manager Stacy Winchester said.
Initially, she said, the tattoo shop hardly had any business. "The first few months were really tough."
But things have been looking up since the street reopened a week ago. "Now we have walk-ins, people calling and seeing where we are at," Winchester said.
Business owners say what's been thus far gives them a glimpse of how downtown Bossier City might look in the future.
"I'm looking forward to getting it finished," Carr said. "I think it will be great when it is finished."
Work along Barksdale Boulevard continues between Arcadia Street to Hamilton Road.
At last check, the cost of improving the area's infrastructure stood at about $13 million.