Gas stations close to shutting down after exit ramp move - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Gas stations close to shutting down after exit ramp move


Two gas stations are struggling to stay afloat after an exit ramp change on I-35.

A Chevron and Shell station sit on Craven Avenue in Lacy Lakeview off the interstate. Employees say much of their business comes from interstate traffic. The problem is, the exit to get to their stations was moved back a couple miles to Crest Drive two years ago. Now, they're having trouble staying in business.

"When they shut it down that couple months was really hard, I couldn't believe it that can happen," Shell station owner Tarvinda Khalsa said. "We lost almost half of the business, which we depend mostly on the freeway. I don't think we can recover from that."

The Chevron station down the street has also seen a loss in business. They now have plastic bags over their pumps because they're in the transition of a new owner and cannot pump gas while that happens. This is the third owner since the exit ramp moved, employee Jay Nadilats said.

"Since they closed the exit business is very slow, we don't get any business from the freeway, we're really hurting," Nadilats said.

Annisa Mann is a regular customer at Chevron even after the change. She says it would be an injustice to the community if they shut down.

"It's a convenience store so you absolutely want it to be convenient. And since you're close to I-35 you want people to be able to come off of I-35," Mann said. "Well it's one here but you just can't get to it because of the exiting situation."

Khalsa says he wants to stay afloat as long as possible. When asked how, he said he opens every morning with a prayer.

"That's the only hope I have right now," Khalsa said.

TXDOT says they did take those businesses into consideration when moving the ramp. Spokesperson Jodi Wheatley says they put a lot of research in the decision. She says there are safety concerns dealing with how long the exit and on ramps are. When some get longer, an on and exit ramp cannot fit between two intersections.

That means they have to be strategic in where to put ramps. Wheatley says they wanted to focus on helping out the area with the most traffic. That is traffic going to and from TSTC who's entrance is at Crest Drive.

For regulations on length of on and exit ramps click here.

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