Construction on the new 4th Avenue underpass began last year but the past few months have been especially difficult for some businesses in the area. They say the project was originally scheduled to be finished by the end of 2008 but now it seems like it'll be at least March of 2009.

Long-time merchants like The Shanty are noticing a sizable decline in the number of customers and they're bracing for the future. They say that specific project may be just one of the factors - they think a slowing economy, construction on I-10 and other factors may also be playing a role.

Fourth Avenue Merchant's Association