A mid-August completion date was blown, and after 11 months of construction equipment kicking up dust, some restaurant sales are down by a reported 70%.
The Gastronomic Corridor involved creating a pedestrian mall meant to be more inviting to visitors. Workers have been on the job seven days a week, at least 12 hours a day. The atmosphere is noisy, dirty and dangerous to walk through — anything but inviting to patrons seeking out a meal at Sandunga or Micaela, two of several well-loved restaurants there.
Residents and merchants received a notice from the Mérida City Council that work will drag on until the end of the month and perhaps even until the end of the year, several of them reported.
Some road work on surrounding streets starts in the wee hours of the morning, out of deference to the businesses, but to the annoyance of residents who lose sleep and have to climb over an obstacle course of rubble to reach their front doors.
That means the street may still be a construction zone during the holiday season. Work began in October 2022.
Some residents, however, are elated that the project has increased their property values, even if they cannot park anywhere near their front doors.
“This is a benefit for those of us who live here because it was forgotten and deteriorated, with the presence of homeless people, garbage and abandonment, that no longer exists, but the dust from the construction is my only complaint,” Martha Bonilla, A Calle 47 resident, told the newspaper Por Esto.