MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Downtown Madison's history dates all the way back to 1869. But nowadays motorists and business owners have been coexisting with construction teams -- which has some business owners a little extra anxious, especially with a big event in early October.
The Madison Street Festival is just around the corner, a time for fun, and a big day for businesses in downtown Madison.
"It brings a lot of people in that maybe haven't been in before or don't come to this area all of the time," said Lynn Crumbly, owner of the Whistle Stop Sweet Shop on Main Street.
"There are a lot of people that don't see downtown Madison because it's tucked away from the street, the festival makes them realize that we are here," said Heidi Gomes, manager of Sady's Bistro.
There's one problem.
Main Street has been riddled with barrels and barricades, causing a decrease in foot traffic.
"I think we've done a pretty good job of letting people know that we're still open, but parking is the biggest issue," said Crumbly.
A problem made worse by the road closures. But better parking is one of the project's goals.
"We don't want the festival folks to have worked so hard and people come and there's orange barrels and barricades around," said Crumbly.
The construction is the second phase of a three part project to help beautify what mayor Troy Trulock calls Madison's heartbeat, historic downtown.
"By the end of October the whole thing should be done," said Mayor Trulock, "but in 3 weeks, all of what's necessary for the street festival will be done."
New light poles, repaved roads, and new parking are the goals. If still under construction, the festival and downtown businesses could take a blow.
"It would have an effect on how the logistics would work out for the festival," said Gomes.
With twenty-thousand people expected, Mayor Trulock says roads will be back open and fully accessible for the festival.
Phase three of the downtown project will be repaving and parking improvements on martin road.
That's set to start summer 2015.