News that Shelby Street will close for seven months surprises business owners on Indy's south side

Posted at 1:54 AM, Mar 24, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- Several small business owners along Shelby Street on Indianapolis' south side say they just found out the street is about to close for nearly seven months for construction of the DigIndy Tunnel and IndyGo Red Line.

Citizens Energy announced Monday that in two weeks, Shelby will be shut down between East Troy and East Southern Avenues.

Deron Quebe owns Dinner Bell Market on Shelby Street. It's been in his family nearly five decades with 15 longtime employees.

Quebe says he had no idea this was happening, much less that it was happening so soon.

"It's hard for me to believe that me having a business here and having multiple properties, that none of us would've known. We could've at least planned in some way for employees, customers, for tenants," said Quebe.

He says the sudden loss of street traffic means an unexpected drop in sales.

"It's simple math. You need half the employees, half the deliveries, half the service people, so someone's gonna have to go or be laid off for less hours," said Quebe.

Crews will spend the next seven months putting in rock tunnels under Shelby to divert sewer overflows.

Citizens Energy is asking for patience during the process.

"I understand they have a job to do but I don't think anybody took the time out to realize how devastating it was," said Quebe.

Citizens Energy now says it's moving back the project start date from April 2 to April 9, giving the company more time to let everyone know what's going on and buying more time for businesses to plan accordingly.

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