Billiards biz claims road repairs driving them to close

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A Topeka business says they’re shutting the doors after months of road construction drove their customers away. Hot Pockets and other nearby businesses are still struggling as the Seward Avenue project drags on.

“At one time we were supporting four families out of this business,” Business Owner, Jim Suwalski said. And now we’re down to supporting nobody.”

Suwalski has been at Hot Pockets for 11 years. He said the road construction has been the “kill shot” to about 70% of his business. Suwalski said they’ve already sold three pool tables to try and make ends meet. Now, they’ll be selling the place before the end of 2016.

“If business doesn’t pick up…maybe next week,” Suwalski said. “We’ve got electric to pay…”

The construction project was supposed to be finished in July, but delays have caused that date to be pushed back. Suwalski said he was frustrated with the construction company.

“It’s a company called BRB Construction. And the neighbors…The only thing, the funny thing about it is that everybody refers to them as Be Right Back Construction because you don’t see them.”

KSNT News contacted the City of Topeka to ask about the construction delays. They told us rain played a big part, but that wasn’t all.

“We had some bad curb work go down,” Public Works Director, Jason Peek said. “So they basically installed curb on the new asphalt. They didn’t meet the requirements of the plan so they had to rework that.”

KSNT News then asked if they’re doing anything for the many businesses that have been impacted by the delays.

“We try to work with businesses to provide access where we can that still allows us to get the work done,” Peek said. “So some of those businesses have access from the rear alleys.”

But in situations like this where there’s no construction directly in front of the business…nothing can be done.

“It’s just a ridiculous situation, Suwalski said.”


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