Ongoing traffic construction negatively impacting some Kilgore businesses

Ongoing traffic construction negatively impacting some Kilgore businesses
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 5:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 9:07 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Business owners in Kilgore say a TxDOT project is causing them major issues.

The construction is along Industrial Boulevard just off the roundabout near downtown Kilgore where, a little over a year ago, Texas Department of Transportation started an 18-month-long project to reconstruct the traffic circle. Since then, Industrial Boulevard has been torn up and made into a one-way street.

Todd Clayton owns Clayton’s Git-N-Go along this road and said since this project started it has caused patrons to avoid this road.

“September 1 will be a year since they actually closed down the road, and we have seen a significant decrease in business. Probably around 65 to maybe even 70 precent decrease of customer flow that comes in the store,” Clayton said.

Down the road, Ocean Restaurant has been open for around two-and-a-half years. Before the construction they saw around 50 customers a day and now they get around 10.

The owner, Estela Cedillo, has to work outside jobs to keep the doors open.

“It’s a lot of times that I feel like I want to leave, but I have a passion and I love what I do and it’s just the construction is not helping, you know,” Cedillo said.

Jeff Williford, spokesperson for TxDOT, said though it was supposed to take 18 months, they are projecting it will finish up in October of 2024.

“There was a lot, a significant amount of ground water underneath where we were working, and so we have the contractors and the crew have had to address those issues before they could really even start,” Williford said.

He said in a few weeks the open side of the road will be closed and the other side will be re-opened still making it a one way.

Clayton said this has been trying times and they don’t know if they will make it another year.

“The bills don’t really change, you know, the insurances, our tank insurance bills remain the same while our income has significantly decreased. Hopefully we can make it through it,” Clayton said.

TxDOT said the total project cost around $8.4 million. Once the project is completed TxDOT said it will provide a better road for the community.