SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The renovation of Jefferson Avenue in downtown Springfield has hit a snag as businesses in the area report a drop in foot traffic, leading to a decrease in sales.

The ongoing construction for the Jefferson Streetscape project, which began earlier this year, has caused disruption for businesses in the area and has left many struggling to attract customers.

“It’s hard to keep stuff on the shelf when not only is the foot traffic compromised, but, you know, we can’t get deliveries, we can’t get anything down here, “ says Colby Cowan, store manager of Park Central Market. “Every business downtown is going through this, having a huge decrease in sales, a huge decrease in foot traffic, making it really hard for them to get their deliveries as well.”

The construction project is part of a larger plan to upgrade the infrastructure in downtown Springfield.

It involves the installation of new water pipes and sewer lines by city utilities, as well as the repaving of roads done by the city.

“There’s a water line from 1883 that is still running down Walnut Street. We want to get that out of there, get that up to date, and have the situation to where we don’t have outages out there and everything, trying to make sure we’ve got the newest and greatest equipment underground,” said Joel Alexander with City Utilities.

While these upgrades are crucial for the city’s infrastructure, many are worried that the project could go on for much longer than expected, which would further harm sales.

“These projects do take time and especially when you’re doing a project that involves a street rebuild or landscape project and moving utilities underground. It’s going to take time. And we understand the concerns,” said Alexander.

Despite these challenges, many business owners are trying to remain positive.

They are hopeful that once the construction is over, their businesses will be able to bounce back.