BELLEVILLE, Ill. ( -- Belleville residents are facing a good news/bad news situation. City streets and sidewalks are getting a major face lift, but the project is going longer than anticipated, leaving business owners and residents frustrated.

“There have been stretches where sections of the road are completely closed,” said Maura McCoy, who works with the Toco Shop, a non-profit which helps the needy in the community.

For the past several months, there have been times when just getting to the shop has been difficult.

“It's been a little sketchy,” she said. You never know what's going to happen.”

Some of the business owners along the six block stretch say they're tired of the dust, the vibration, the noise, and the torn-up street.

Mayor Mark Eckert said he sympathizes with those affected.

“I tell them I agree with them. I'm frustrated too as their mayor,” he said.

Eckert said the project was to separate sewer lines from lines carrying storm water, but the century-old infrastructure was plagued with problems.

“We've had an abundance of mishaps. That old adage if anything could go wrong it would, that's been part of this,” the mayor said.

Several storefronts are empty and it's hoped that the streetscape project with new sidewalks, lamp posts, and a better design and layout will inspire some re-investment.

“It's going to be beautiful. That's what I hope anyway,” McCoy said. “I can't wait for that day.”

Construction is weather-dependent but if everything goes according to schedule, it could be finished by next April.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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