Rain further delays construction on South University - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/8/10

Rain further delays construction on South University

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The rain has wreaked havoc with roads under construction, and the businesses affected by those construction delays.

Restaurants and shops on University between Loop 289 and 82nd Street are ready to have their road back. For months now, cones have lined the roadway. The completion date was already pushed back a month, with the addition of driveways for business access.

After the weekend rains, city engineers expect the project is now even further behind schedule. "The rain has probably had a pretty big effect. The contractor is probably looking at a four week delay, because they can't work out there when it's wet. And when it does stop raining and everything dries out they'll need to go back in and take the steel back out that they have in place, let it dry out then put the steel back in, dry out the soil and re-compact it," says Assistant City Engineer Keith Smith.

Officials now say the project will be complete sometime next spring. Until then, businesses in this area will have to cut back to stay afloat. "A lot of employees have lost hours, because of that. We don't get no business so there's no need to have employees here if we're not going to have any business," says Wienerschnitzel Manager Blanca Gomez.

Local restaurants and shops up and down the main thoroughfare laid off employees and cut schedules. But they're hoping construction "deals" on food will at least encourage people to stop by to keep business up. "Our sales are down. With our 99 cents chili cheese fries that's what's helping us right now with sales," says Gomez.

Across the street the Sonic manager says they hope after construction ends sales with pick up and they can rehire their laid off employees. "This particular location has been cut in half as far as the work force. That's standard about half is what you lose at each location," says Corey Stovall.

Stovall says there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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