Road construction near downtown Springfield will last for months

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Getting around parts of Springfield haven't been easy. Major construction near downtown has traffic grinding to a halt.

About 10,000 cars drive through the area of Grant Avenue between Walnut and College every day.

Drivers tell us navigating the busy streets during a construction project can try a person's patience.

"I think the biggest hassle for me driving this every day is the people that don't," says Molly Fields.

Her commute takes her across Grant along Walnut.

Loren Lawry also drives through the area every day.

"The traffic's backed up it takes a while to get through this intersection," he says.

Fields says, "I think the biggest issue is that people that don't drive this everyday aren't really sure what lane to drive in because it's divided up into three but essentially a two lane drive."

The city is completely overhauling this area.

Project Manager for Springfield, Alexis Walker says that while this may seem like a huge project but it's really not.

"If you want to do a scale of one to ten, actually I would say about a four or five," she says.

Crews are upgrading the traffic signal lights to enhance safety. They are also improving the sidewalks to make sure they are ADA compliant and handicap accessible.

Gas, water, storm water and sewer lines are also being replaced.

The project is not without its challenges.

"Out here it's older. We don't know what's underneath here half the time so we can run into something we weren't prepared for. We found an underground storage tank right in front of Mother's. It's just surprises. Something's you just find and you're just like okay, just got to keep moving," explains Walker.

Crews will only close roads for work during the overnight hours if they have to.

People can still get to nearby businesses.

However drivers, like Lawry, say it's best to stay clear of all this.

"If they don't have to come through here find an alternate route. It will be a whole lot quicker and safer," he says.

Walker says, "It's going to be rough for a little bit but I think as long as we all work together it will work out pretty well."

The project is being paid for with money from the department of transportation and the 1/4 cent improvement tax approved by Springfield voters.

The target date for construction to finish up is the beginning of September.