Business owners and drivers in Denton are hoping for some relief from a construction project that has gone on a year longer than planned.
The project on Interstate 35E at Loop 288 was scheduled to be completed in late 2018 but is still not finished.
"Change orders were issued to expedite other improvements that were not originally in the scope of work with the contractor," Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Emily McCann said. "Inclement weather also played a part in schedule delays."
The construction has caused a headache for businesses in the construction area. Chiloso Mexican Bistro on Loop 288 has seen a decline in customers.
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"We definitely took a really big hit in sales when construction started. Dropped somewhere between 10 and 20% just from the traffic. It’s hard to get over here," restaurant manager Ruth Dulaney said. "It’ just back to back, bumper to bumper. It takes you 5 minutes to go a quarter mile."
"The project is nearly 90% complete, with substantial completion estimated by early 2020," McCann said.
According to TxDOT, crews have started removing old pavement and installing new pavement on southbound I-35E and will soon begin doing the same in northbound lanes.
"The project team is projecting to open all three lanes of north and southbound I-35E by the Christmas holiday," McCann said. "Paving is a weather permitting activity, so this is subject to change."
"Crews still need to finish installing the drainage and building the rest of the southbound I-35E frontage road at Loop 288," McCann added. "Once those items are complete, final overlay and striping will occur."
It is estimated that the Loop 288 intersection will open up fully along with permanent signals installed later this month.