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Businesses deal with disruptions of Highway 10 construction in Anoka

Once the project is done, businesses look forward to a less congested, smoother highway. But in the meantime, they're taking a hit.

ANOKA, Minn. — Construction has been underway on Highway 10 in Anoka for several months now, and for many residents and businesses, it has been a lifestyle adjustment.

Charlie Zierke, who lives in nearby Champlin, said it has led him to rethink some of his summer activities.

"Highway 10 is tough right now. I would say, from 2 p.m. to 7 or 8 o'clock, you're going nowhere for 10 miles," Zierke said. "We haven't been going up north... Friday afternoons, trying to head right now to Brainerd and that area, up 10, is going to be miserable."

Businesses along the Highway 10 corridor in Anoka certainly have felt the impact, even if they do acknowledge the end result will create a net economic benefit for the region. "When complete, the Highway 10 Anoka project will improve traffic flow, decrease congestion and increase safety," the Anoka Chamber of Commerce writes on its website.

However, the short-term impact is real for places like Green Haven Golf Course. Located directly off Highway 10, the course is city-owned but has a privately run restaurant.

"Friday nights are our busiest, and that's been down a little bit, basically because Highway 10 is a parking lot every Friday night out here," said food and beverage operator Jason Tollette. "Other than that, we've been pretty fortunate."

Just last week, the exit to the golf course reopened from Highway 10, which Tollette said led to his busiest weekend of the year at the restaurant. 

On the golf side, meanwhile, Highway 10 construction has not slowed the customer base. Tollette said that the course itself averages 300 rounds per day, seven days a week, from May to October.

"One of the things from COVID that has actually expanded and grown is golf," Tollette said. "People are figuring out how to get to a golf course from that aspect."

Matthew Emami, who was playing a round on Friday afternoon, can certainly attest to that.

"I guess it's expected with Minnesota summers -- there's always construction," he said. "Just bake in the extra time and you end up being all right."

MNDOT has been regularly meeting with business owners about Highway 10 construction. There is another meeting scheduled later this month. 

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