ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – The construction on Interstant 20 and Highway 351 may be nearing completion, but Abilene business owners on the north side of town say they’ve seen a decline in business since the construction began.
While many of the business owners agree the construction is beneficial to their customers long term, they also agree continuing business with the construction is ongoing is equally as important.
Casey Kilborn is the General Manager of Jason’s Deli on the north side of Abilene. He says many of the busiensses on the north side, including his, have seen a negative impact from the construction.
“I think we’ve faired better than probably most,” he says. “I think a lot of it has to do with our brand.”
Kilborn says the changes being made on HWY 351 and I-20 will be beneficial in the longrun.
“This is the next step in greatness when it comes to the north side of Abilene and really making it accessbile,” Kilborn explains. “To have all these extra turn lanes and these turn arounds. It’s going to be incredible. It really opens up the whole side of town, which it hasn’t seen much ever.”
Bur, according to Kilborn, in order for that construction to be successful, customers need to continue to visit north side businesses, despeite the sea of orange traffic cones and flashing red lights.
“There’s a lot of businesses here that are affected by this,” Kilborn says. “In the short term, not so good, but in the long term, it’s about the big picture.”
TXDOT says the project is on schedule and should be completed in spring of 2018 with the cost totalling around $14 million.