Construction on San Felipe Bridge in Galleria area hits business owners hard

September 29, 2013 5:43:41 AM PDT
Construction crews are continuing their work in the Galleria. They're demolishing the San Felipe Street Bridge and replacing it. The project is slated to last two weeks, but businesses say they are not sure they can wait it out.

The stretch of San Felipe just west of the Galleria has been closed for nearly a week now, as city crews replace the 50-year-old bridge and make drainage improvements. Gary and Louise Moss, who live right next to the closure, have been dealing with the impact.

"It's very difficult in the afternoons," said Gary Moss. "Traffic backs up from Willowick and Drexel to Westheimer.

"If you go east, you're OK," added Louise Moss. "If you go west, you're in trouble."

The closure has also had an impact on business. Wafi Denario owns Ouissie's restaurant a couple blocks from the construction. He's been looking at empty tables at a normally bustling restaurant.

"Since they shut down the train tracks, it dropped at least 50 percent," he said. "We've seen a dramatic drop in business that walks through our doors."

The city says the work should only take about two weeks to complete, but some of the folks around here say judging by the pace it's going, it's going to take longer than that.

In the meantime, Denario says he'll just have to make due. He wishes the city would have given more warning to business owners in advance, so he could at least have planned ahead.

"We have to cut staff. We have to cut hours for people," he said. "And that's unfortunate."

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