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$68 million I-10 project could impact businesses
ORANGE- by Haley Bull
The first stages of a $68 million improvement project started Thursday on Interstate 10 in Orange County. The goal is to improve safety, make the road smoother and improve congestion, but it could also impact local business.
Inside Two Amigo's Mexican Restaurant, it's business as usual.
"We're really very excited for it," employee Tymothee Kirkland said.
Outside, although you can't see much yet, changes are in the works on I-10. Workers at the restaurant hope a better highway brings more customers.
"I hope it open it up to where a lot more customer from a lot more places can actually get here because where we're at right now, it's just, we're kind of closed off from the actual highway," Kirkland said. "If they come in and they fix the highway, we'd be able to get more customers in."
The highway is now getting a $68 million facelift.
"We're basically completely re-doing I-10 and it's gonna make it a lot smoother, it's gonna make it safer. We're bringing some of these frontage roads up to current standards," Sarah Dupre with the Texas Department of Transportation said. "Some of these short exit ramps and entrance ramps in Orange are gonna be elongated, they're gonna be a lot safe and a lot smoother to drive."
The construction over the four-mile stretch from west of Adams Bayou to West of the Sabine River is expected to last about four years, impacting businesses like Senor Toros that rely on highway traffic.
"I'm outside of the city," Efren Harnandaaz, the owner of Senor Toros, said."For me buses and all the traffic come across from here, I think it can help me."
Not every business owner is as thrilled.
"It will be a trying time for all businesses on Interstate 10 with the highway torn up and the back-up of traffic which always happens during construction," Elaine Meyers, the President and CEO of The Horseman Store, Safety Ltd., said.
It's a different story when the project's complete.
"It should be good, the traffic should move forward better," Meyers said.
During the project, the speed limit will be reduced to 65 mph. TXDOT reminds drivers to watch for construction workers.