Plainview business owner upset with I-27 construction

Reported by: Henry Ramos
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Updated: 3/28/2013 9:45 am

A plan to redesign some I-27 frontage roads in Plainview is moving ahead. The project brought opposition from residents months ago.      

Joe Covington owns Dixie Tavern Cafe and Steakhouse. Covington moved his business to a location right off I-27. He said he won't forget what happened two weeks ago.

"All the traffic was taken off the interstate the north bound side and put on this access road," he said.

He said that caused bumper-to-bumper traffic.

"People were frustrated for sitting in line for 30-to-40 minutes trying to get up to the red light," he said. "They wouldn't let anyone turn into the restaurant."

He said it happened three days in a row.

"I lost approximately $600-$700 at lunch per day." 

TX-DOT Spokeswoman Dianah Ascencio said detour repairs had to be made and the safest way to do that was re-directing the traffic. She said the work was completed in one afternoon.

"Because it was spring break the traffic might have been heavier then normal, but we actually made the repairs one afternoon."

"It really hurts," Covington said. "The economy has been a little strained. We've had some things happened in Plainview Excel closing. All these businesses here they need all the business they can get."

The project's main goal will convert two-way frontage roads into one.

"I personally see it as a disadvantage," Covington said. "I wish they would have left it like it was."

"It's not only going to improve mobility as well as traffic circulation, but it is going to take care of a very important safety need," Ascencio said.

The project will be completed by July 2014. The next step for the $19 million project is to build the new I-27 bridge before the the old F.M. 3466 bridge is demolished in late May.

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