GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A major road project is behind schedule and on hold in Gulfport. In April of 2015, Gulfport began an ambitious road widening and improvement project on heavily traveled 28th St.
More than 16 months later and four months after the project was scheduled to be completed, orange barrels are still in place, and businesses on 28th want results.
"I know personally I don't want to even travel this road, because it's such a hassle and in such bad shape. I take back roads just to get here. I feel if I'm doing that, customers are, too," said businessman Jason Necaise.
Here's the situation. The consulting engineer hired by Gulfport ran into a problem with the soil. It's too wet. They're waiting for soil samples and tests to be done before work can resume.
The road has been in rough shape for years, and this construction delay is making matters worse.
"It seems like they don't even keep up the street. After a recent storm, the potholes were so bad, I couldn't come down here," according to resident Jerry Robertson.
The nearly $5.2 million project is designed to create five lanes on a mile stretch from 22nd Ave. to 34th Ave.
The drainage work has been done. Some of the road has been paved west of Hwy. 49. New traffic lights are in place and will be operating by next week.
Continuing delays are fueling some frustration for folks living with the inconvenience.
"I feel like there is a big lack of progress here. Our parking lot has been torn up for a year now. It's creating problems for us with getting customers in and out. Even the appearance is bad for business. So, I'm not really happy about that," said business owner Ted Miller.
Engineers hope to have the soil sample report back in the next two months.