Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Ongoing library problems have downtown residents, businesses concerned

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BATON ROUGE - Concerns are growing among those who frequent the businesses around the site of the new library downtown.

On Monday, additional areas around the building were shut down to make way for heavy equipment. Engineers have been trying to fix the problems at the site since last week, when two compromised steel connectors were found by construction workers.

Starting Wednesday, St. Louis Street will become a two-way street between Government Street and City Hall to accommodate for other closures.

While workers try to fix up the building, people who habitually visit the neighboring areas are hesitant to return, saying they're afraid the building might fall.

"I hope that they fix it, because I really love sitting out here and I don't wanna be afraid," said Kelley Ward, who often visits the neighboring courtyard for lunch.

The worries may also be impacting local businesses, keeping customers away.

"I mean who wants to be outside around a building that could possibly fall," said Bailey Kendrick, who manages the Big Squeezy smoothie shop across the street. "But I definitely think it's just the population of citizens downtown will decrease."

Officials say there's no need for alarm, but it's still unclear when the site and its surrounding areas will reopen. A complete engineering analysis is due by the end of this week.


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