NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches residents and Stephen F. Austin State University students are relieved that Starr Avenue is now open following an eight-month project that upgraded the road.
It was a huge hassle for residents, SFA students, and anyone using a GPS to maneuver around Nacogdoches.
"Walking across Starr Ave. was so difficult. You would get mud on your shoes almost every time," said Claudia Rubio, an SFA student.
"From the beginning, it was rough trying to get down here with me not having a car," said Calvin Wilson, an SFA student.
It brought about congestion and confusion, but the $1.4 million dollar project eventually ended, revealing a wider roadway, shoulders, and sidewalks that those once disgruntled can now appreciate.
Signs and barricades blocked off Starr Avenue for months. Residents are now ecstatic that they've been moved off to the side and are no longer needed.
"I haven't been wanting to leave my house as much because there was just too much going on on Bailey Street," Rubio said.
People waved and wandered down the smooth concrete convenient to their destinations. One liquor store at the intersection of North Street and Starr Ave. had even taken a hit.
"We've lost about 25 percent in transaction counts," said Parker Riley, liquor store owner.
The street opening called for popping bottles. The store took 10 percent off liquor Thursday to celebrate the convenience at the intersection.
"We had a sale trying to say, "Hey come down the street and come back to us," Riley said.
Traffic signals sounded off and there were rights on red all day. Nacogdoches was happy to have their regular commutes back not only as they were, but better.
"It's easier to get to all the food places on this side of Starr Ave now," Wilson said.
"I was happy. I was waiting for them to take down the signs and pick up the cones," Rubio said.
"It actually looks really different. I'm not used to this at all!" said Jinny Cain, a Nacogdoches resident.
The completion of the project also brought about six-foot sidewalks and ADA curb ramps to accommodate pedestrians.