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Bore hole to be filled in after business owners call on city

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BATON ROUGE - A large hole in the ground has some people upset, saying it's bad for business. The hole is intended for use during a city sewer upgrade, part of the SSO Program. It's located on South Blvd at St. Phillip Street, near The 13th Gate and Pastime.

Pastime owner Randy Wesley says his business and other businesses in the area are suffering because the construction creates a traffic nightmare, especially during events. The 13th Gate normally brings in thousands of people every year and Pastime restaurant relies on the football season for business.

"It's definitely a hazard," said Wesley. "It doesn't need to be here, they should have left it closed."

The hole is about 15 feet wide and about twice as deep. There's gravel and about a foot of water at the bottom. Barricades and orange fencing surround the open hole. Wesley says it's a danger for children who walk by and stop to look in. The project manager says it will be used to bore holes to connect the sewer lines.

Business owners say customers have avoided the area. Wesley says he's watched week after week go by during the construction and in and around the hole, little work has been done.

The hole has been covered twice with asphalt to help traffic move through for the two home LSU football games. After the game, the hole has been uncovered and the barricades have been put back into place.

Wesley turned to social media, called council members and WBRZ for help. Wednesday, a meeting with area business owners, members of the SSO Program and the contractor met to talk about alternative options. The project manager tells WBRZ the hole will be filled in and covered through mid-November and uncovered after football season is over.

"We live and die by football season," said Wesley.

The hole will be covered Friday. The project will wrap up by the end of the year.

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