Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Construction is consuming downtown Oklahoma City, but those in charge said there was no need to worry about the upcoming Thunder games.
Most of the construction was for Oklahoma City's Project 180. The four-year makeover covered eight miles of downtown including 57 intersections and 100 street blocks.
The targeted area was all points in between Lee Avenue to E.K. Gaylord Boulevard from Northwest 6th Street to Southwest 2nd Street.
"It's mainly to make the downtown area more pedestrian friendly," said Project 180 spokeswoman Andrea French. "We want to have that beautiful streetscape where we brighten up the appearance of downtown and everything matches."
Business owners say the construction chaos is a challenge. At the La Luna restaurant, sales are down, mostly because getting there isn't easy.
"We don't have as many walkers as we did because they're blocked and it changes from day to day," said La Luna owner Cindy Cabrera.
"There is a price for progress but progress is necessary," said French.
The city said Thunder fans will be able to get in and out of the Ford Center for the upcoming games, but travel advisories have been issued.
Message boards will be in place along the interstates to help guide drivers. The Oklahoma City Police Department will assist drivers and pedestrians at intersections around the Ford Center before and after the game.