Arlington Road Construction Taking Toll On Businesses

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON, TX (CBSDFW.COM) - The quiet in Erica Vassor’s Fantasic Sam’s hair salon in north Arlington might seem peaceful to a visitor.  There are no whining hair dryers and no stylists chatting with their customers.

But to Vassor the silence is what it sounds like when you’re losing a thousand dollars a week in business because construction on Lamar Boulevard blocked one of the driveways in front of her salon.

“Once they shut us down to one way in and one way out its hard for the customers to get here,” Vassor said. “Some of them will turn around and go the opposite direction.”

The effects of road construction are about to spread throughout Arlington.

The city is launching construction on $80 million dollars worth of major road improvements voters approved in 2008.

Besides construction on Lamar, the city will rebuild sections of Abram Street, expand Center Street and build a new Center Street bridge over I-20, expand Stadium Drive and add sidewalks along Cooper Street, and the list goes on.

The effects of the construction will linger for years.

But city planners and engineers point to Abram Street as the perfect example of why the work has to be done.  Its been patched and repatched.  The undulating roadway and bouncing traffic are signs of a road that has outlived its service life.

“When they see the end result of what they’re going to get when compared to when you drive Abram Street now, they’ll be pretty satisfied knowing that something’s been done about it,” said Keith Brooks, Arlington’s Engineering Operations Manager.

“I know it needs to be done but its a pain,” said Beth Gomez who drives through the Lamar Street construction.

Vassor says she looks forward to an improved Lamar street, but the construction work has been more painful than they ever imagined.

“When we first heard about it, it was like, ‘Oh Lord’,” Vassor said. “But when we saw it, it was like, ‘Oh wow!’. We are hoping an praying its over soon.”


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