Downtown Project Causing Frustration Among Businesses

For more than a year the city has been in talks about beautifying downtown Wichita Falls.  Now that time has finally come.  Just this week workers broke ground at Eighth and Indiana.

The plan is for each intersection to have a colored star emblem and landscaped islands.  Downtown businesses aren't too happy with the construction.

Just the other day a press release was sent out explaining that the construction wouldn't interfere with business and patrons, but the places we visited all feel it has and say they received no kind of notice from the city about it.

You might say they're upset.

"Oh crap," said Brad Jensen with Jensen Gallery.
"We're really frustrated and disappointed," said Vicki Karr, co-owner of Casa Manana.

It's all because of cranes, caution tape, and most importantly road blocks.

"We've already had numerous complaints from our regular customers that they can't get
down here," said Karr.

Vicki and Brad both own businesses across the street from each other and both say
they're directly being impacted by the construction.

"Monday and Tuesday was really slow and usually we have a good day," said Karr.

"Fridays and Saturdays we get really busy and Saturday when they had the (road block) sign in the middle of the street.  We had like three people come in," said Jensen.

Businesses aren't the only ones affected by the construction, drivers are finding themselves turning around in circles.

"We turned down Indiana and then we hit this and so we backed up all the way back
down Indiana and went all the way around and hit Ohio and came back," said Christian Myslicki.

Although it does create some chaos the project is aimed at beautifying downtown, still some say it shouldn't have come right before the holidays.

"They need to take care of the businesses that are here already," said Karr.

In a few months the obstructions may be gone, but their impact won't be forgotten.

"I think we're all going to suffer because of this."

We tried contacting the project manager about some of the issues businesses were facing but were unable to reach him.

The project includes three intersections.  The next ones up for construction are Eighth and Scott and Eighth and Lamar.  It is expected to last about four months.