by Victor Lopez
BIG SPRING--Cement intersections, ADA compliant sidewalks and new asphalt are all part of a $5.7 million reconstruction project. TXDOT says it's long over due, but not everyone is excited about it.
According to TXDot officials, the last time Gregg Street saw any kind of major construction was in the late 1980's. "It's making some needed repairs. If you've traveled down Gregg Street you'll see that the condition of the pavement is in bad shape. The construction will be from FM 700 and extend north to 4th Street," Big Spring Area Engineer Roy Dill, said.
Businesses along Gregg Street will surely be affected in some way, by the reconstruction, which is expected to take about a year. Some have been through it before with no problems. For others, like Mary Schuelke, owner of Faye's Flowers, it's their first time, "It might affect sales a little, but I don't think it will be that great of an impact, I really don't."
Some just don't like the idea.
"The last time they did this, which was a few years ago, it cost me about 25% of my business. It took me about 3 years to get that built back up. So I'm a little against it on that aspect," Tire Time Rentals Owner Mike Hughes, said.
TXDOT officials say they are willing to do whatever they can to keep these business owners happy, including a public meeting on Thursday night, giving concerned business owners, like Hughes, a chance to voice their opinions.
Dill explains, "If there is someway we can accomodate their request or concern during the construction phase, we will do that. We will certainly listen to them and if we can, we will make those changes."
Even with TXDOT support, Hughes still isn't totally sold, "I understand what they're doing but, you know, it's just throwing good after bad, as far as I can see."
Others, like Schuelke, are a little worried, but plan to take it all in stride, "Yes, especially when they told me it would be happing toward the end of April, first of May, which is Mother's Day and that's our second biggest day in the flower industry."
The project is expected to start in late Spring or early Summer and should be completed in 10- 12 months.