NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Some headway is being made on the U.S. Highway 59 construction in Nacogdoches, but it's not happening fast enough for businesses within the construction zone. The businesses' owners are growing impatient.
On Highway 59, southbound traffic is running a bit smoother in Nacogdoches as newly constructed concrete pavement is open.
The Texas Department of Transportation is announcing the switch to more new pavement near the Spradley Street area will come soon. A new intersection is coming soon as well.
In the meantime, inconvenience remains.
Anyone traveling west on Spradley Street will have to go north on Highway 59. Anyone traveling east on Spradley Street will have to turn south on Highway 59. The same applies for businesses up and down the construction zone. Crossovers are about a mile in each direction.
Most businesses have been provided only one driveway off Highway 59. That means it must be used for both the entrance and the exit. Pass it up, and you've got a long way to go before turning around.
Some motorists take their chances. On Monday, one driver was attempting to cross over the northbound lane where it's not allowed when he or she came to his or her senses and made a U-turn to retrace the driver's path.
Shortly afterwards, a person on a 4-wheeler drove on the busy highway. That's an infraction of traffic laws in the first place. Then he took the ultimate risk and successfully crossed over to a side street.
Then there are the drivers who just give up. They include customers of Granary St. Natural Foods.
"They were just too scared because of the traffic coming up behind them and different things," said Tricia Fitzpatrick, a sales clerk at the business. "They were too scared to slow down slow enough to turn in, so they had to go back home."
Business has gone down by 25 percent at the health food store.
Things are even worse on the southbound side at Spradley Street at Jesse Drury's convenience store.
"That's cut our gas sales down from 50,000 gallons a month to about 20,000 gallons a month," Dury said. "Inside sales have dropped as much as 50 to 60 percent."
Drury said he supports the Highway 59 Corridor Master Plan, but added he thinks construction could be started and completed in sections to avoid loss retail for so many businesses at one time.