The Home Stretch

by Jessica Cervantez

It's been almost three years and the downtown construction in Lufkin is still not complete, but it is getting close. Both city leaders and business owners are ready for the October completion. The city has been doing whatever they can to work around businesses, but still businesses have been hurt.

When you look out Roma's Italian Restaurant all you see is construction. And all the construction has been taking its toll on several downtown businesses.

Destin Sabani, the Roma's owner, said, "It's been hurting for awhile. I've been thanking my regular customers. That's how I managed to survive."

City leaders say recent rain has set the construction back a bit, but they have been doing whatever possible to work around businesses. Now, they're at the home stretch.

Keith Wright, the city engineer, said, "Each business has been affected three months at a time. We tried to minimize the impact to business...we tried to pick periods when the businesses were already slow."

When everything is done, there will be 70 added parking spots, one way streets, and a beautification of downtown.

Wright said, "The main goal is to bring business and attract them to the downtown area."

But, is the long construction time worth it? Business owners hope so.

Beginning September 6th there will be a new traffic pattern for downtown, which will include quite a few one-way streets.

Second Street, Third Street and Cotton Square will all be one-way streets.