(KMOV) -- Frustration is boiling over to businesses dealing with an ongoing construction project in St. Peters.
Mid Rivers Mall Drive is getting a makeover, but it's left a headache for drivers and a drop in revenue for several businesses.
The city says work will be complete in time for holiday shopping, with the goal to finish up by next week. Starting Thursday night, drivers should expect delays. It's tough news for the 45,000 of you who drive this road every day. Mid Rivers Mall Drive can already be tough to navigate. Add to it construction and blocked lanes. This is the most-heavily traveled road between Interstate 70 and Highway 94.
But even with all that traffic, business owners tell me that construction has been bad for them. They say Mid Rivers Mall Drive backs up something terrible, especially around lunch, making it nearly impossible to get anywhere fast enough for a bite to eat on your lunch hour.
"I have people who say 'we don't even want to try to go through this mess'," Moe Alhussein, owner of Pasta Bowl, says. "We are almost 80 percent down for lunch and overall we're about 30 percent down, so I think all of us -- whether we're a small business or a chain -- I think we took a beating on it, big time."
The city says the makeover was long overdue on the area's most congested corridor. Several traffic signals are being replaced, along with new ADA-accessible sidewalks and pavement repairs.
"We wanted to make sure we did it right, so we tried to coordinate the traffic to minimize the disturbances to the businesses as muc as possible," Burt Beneseke, St. Peters director of transportation, says. "We put additional signage up to direct patrons into Mid Rivers Mall and the businesses in that corridor."
Beneseke says work is winding down and the next few days should have minimal impact on businesses since crews will work overnight. Late next week, however, lanes will be closed for concrete work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Drivers are urged to drive carefully through the construction zone and to seek alternate routes when possible to avoid delays. Alternate routes to businesses along Mid Rivers Mall Drive include South Church Street to McMenamy Road, Grand Teton Drive to Suemandy Drive, and Veterans Memorial Parkway to the north entrance to Mid Rivers Mall.