Business Plummets Near LBJ Express Construction

Company reconstructing highway says it tries to limit effects on businesses

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The project will reconstruct about 17 miles of the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway and Interstate 35E from Loop 12 to just past Highway 75.

    Dallas business owners along Interstate 635 say road construction is driving away customers.

    The general manager of India Palace Restaurant and Bar at Preston Road and I-635 said business has plummeted over the last two months.

    "Two months back, it was packed," Abu Hasnarn said.

    "We are the No. 1 [Indian] restaurant in Texas. We are hurting, so think about the other restaurants, what is happening," he said.

    Business at a Shell gas station on the corner is down 60 percent. And the story is the same at Maribel's Facial and Massage spa down the road.

    "All I can do is do discount after discount to try and get them here, but otherwise, I hope they don't go anywhere else, but that's what they're doing," Maribel Rodriguez said.

    The LBJ Infrastructure Group said it is doing its best to limit the effects of the construction on the 6,700 businesses within a quarter mile of the project by working a lot of nights and weekends.

    "We're trying to do our major construction points when traffic impacts are at its least," said Andy Rittler, LBJIG spokesman.

    The company is also working on an outreach program involving email alerts and Facebook to improve communications with businesses and drivers.

    Some owners said it's better than nothing but remain convinced that completing the project is the only thing that will bring back their customers.

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