Loop Construction Hurting Businesses - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/29/2007-Tyler

Loop Construction Hurting Businesses

An 18-month project going for almost two years and it's still not done. Local business owners are paying the price. Construction along the East part of Loop 323 in Tyler began June 13, 2005 and TxDOT says it did not go the way it was supposed to.

With some out there patience is weighing thin. The problems with this project range from design issues to weather delays to contractor issues, and through it businesses both big and small in this area are feeling it's affects.

USA Shipping Center sits on the corner of Fifth and the Loop mist all the construction.

Owners Greg and Kathy Fergueson are hurting "You look around and all the parking lots are sitting empty..when it used to be full all day long," said Greg, "for us little one's its really devastating."

"This is our income this is all we have we don't have a corporation or a company backing us up. We have what comes through the door is all we get and if they don't come through that door that is all we get," Greg told KLTV, "In three years we have lost business instead of growing . Which means pretty much our pay has been cut in half. It's kinda tough when you have three kids and a family and a home that you have to pay for."

Just down the road is Lone Star Harley Davidson.

"We are feeling the pain of the construction," said Laney Bowdoin, General Manager of Lone Star Harley Davidson "in our market with us being the only Harley Davidson dealership in Tyler if you need to come to the dealership you are going to come.....I'ts not our fault that the construction is going on."

TxDOT says this road project has gone wrong at every turn, but they say it was necessary

 "Tyler had outgrown Loop 323 and its seeing a heavy amount of traffic in areas. Really in all areas. We are trying to get ahead of it by adding safety implementations that will help move traffic along and make predictable turns. Once this project is done I think traffic will flow better,"said Larry Krantz, Spokesperson for TxDOT.

In the meantime these local businesses are concerned about their future.

"Three years of no growth or diminished growth.in a place where we should be growing..its wrong because its something beyond our control yet we are paying the price for it," said Greg.

"We really don't know when it will be done. Everyday we just pray a little harder that it will be quick," said Laney.

Many of these businesses have even thought about relocating; but say that the cost of moving is too expensive. Larry Krantz also told KLTV it should be finished in late summer.

Additionally, the next project that will affect large numbers of people is the intersection of Troop Highway and Loop 323. Beginning in just over two weeks. It is the busiest intersection in the area with 75,000 cars passing through it each day. TxDOT plans include re-surfacing, widening the area, and redoing the turn lanes. The project is scheduled to take five months.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@ktlv.com

 

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