I-65 detour creates bathroom backup at small town gas station

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ROMNEY, Ind. (August 19, 2015)- A small town gas station is struggling to keep up with the I-65 traffic.

“There’s only 1,060 people in Romney. This is the most traffic and the most people we’ve ever seen,” explains Laurie Lowry, a clerk at the Friendly Market.

The Friendly Market is a corner gas station at the intersection of U.S. 231 and Indiana 28.  It’s the only gas station in Romney and it’s along the I-65 detour.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is fixing a bridge over the Wildcat Creek and diverting traffic through past the Friendly Market.

“It’s car to car, bumper to bumper,” explains Lowry.

Traffic can be backed up for hours so gas tanks get low and drivers got to go.

“Some guy came in and said my eyes are floating I said ‘Ok go ahead and use it’ I hate to say no,” explains Lowry.

The gas station shares a septic system with a restaurant next door.  All the extra flushes fill up the system much faster.  Every few days Lowry makes a call to get the septic system pumped.  Every time the system needs pumped it’s a $250 bill.

The gas station has been forced to close the bathroom every now and again.  They’ve posted a sign on the door saying ‘Out of order.  Sorry for the inconvenience.’  Even though the bathroom inside is closed, that doesn’t stop some customers.

“We’ve got neighbors over here that are complaining they said ‘It’s bad enough I had to smell your septic but now I have to smell people using the bathroom behind your building,’” explains Lowry.

INDOT did put in a traffic light in an attempt to relieve some of the traffic.  The gas station has another suggestion that could help relieve some of their customers.

“Get porta johns out here for the customers. This isn’t our mess, it’s their mess,” explains Lowry.

Besides having to close the bathroom, the gas station did run out of gas before too.

INDOT hopes to have the bridge fixed and I-65 up and running by mid-September.