OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The pedestrian bridge over Northwest Expressway has been under construction since 2021 and in that time, businesses along the construction zone say it may be driving away their customers, literally and figuratively.

“It would be like a mission impossible with this traffic,” said the Owner of Eggceptional Cafe, Ignacio Irra.

Irra and his family opened Eggceptional Cafe back in May.

Unfortunately, he says the “bumper to bumper” traffic in their area is all they’ve ever known.

“It’s just pretty hectic. I’m not sure if that’s either good or bad for us. It could help people slow down and look at our restaurant or it could just be like, ‘I don’t want to stop by because this is going to be a hassle leaving,'” explained Irra.

His other concern is the construction and traffic comes out of nowhere when coming from side streets.

“Sometimes my children will come in and kind of help us out, but I kind of don’t want them to anymore because they used to walk by this little private street right here, but people don’t go slow. It’s starting to become a concern and to avoid any tragedies,” Irra said.

The City of Oklahoma City Public Works Public Information Officer, Shannon Cox said she understands the difficulty of driving through these construction zones, but they’re working as diligently as they can.

Cox told KFOR the project was supposed to wrap up by the end of this year, but because of “some material delays and unanticipated things,” the completion date has now been pushed back to spring 2023.

Construction started in November 2021.

She said when the bridge is complete, it’ll allow a safe way of travel for cyclists, pedestrians, and runners seeing as this area takes about 30,000 drivers a day.

The $5.3 million project is funded by the 2007 Bond Program and the 2017 Better Streets Safer City Bond Program.

Another business, Ann’s Tailoring and Alterations told News 4 they’ve considered permanently closing their doors because of a lack of foot traffic coming in because of construction.

The owner doesn’t believe there is a true need for the pedestrian bridge.

An issue a handful of businesses told KFOR off camera is that they haven’t seen a construction worker at the bridge in months.

Irra said that shows there is “no rush to finish” which is in turn creating more congestion and drivers who appear to be driving through the area more aggressively.

Cox said although people may not see workers doesn’t mean they’re not out there.

“There’s stuff that’s going on, you know, installing handrails and some mesh safety barriers,” said Cox. “They are in the area working.”

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Thirteen miles down the road to N. Kelley and E. Britton is another construction site that’s been ongoing since April.

The purpose of that construction is to widen the roads from two lanes to four.

Cox said two bridge structures in that area are also being worked on causing some roads to be closed.

That project won’t be finished until late summer 2023, according to Cox.

This is several more months in what has been a nearly four year deal of construction in the area.

Cox said as of now though, contractors are set to finish these two projects by their intended date.