BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — A major interstate making its way through Brazos County would have a significant impact on the Aggieland economy. As the United States Congress is set to vote this week on a national infrastructure plan that would expand Interstate 14 through Bryan-College Station, KRHD News spoke with two members of the local business community to discuss their take on the situation.
David Posadas, owner of downtown Bryan restaurant Taco Crave, has mixed feelings on the idea of a major interstate passing through the area. Posadas has the unique perspective of having watched an interstate construction at his first restaurant location in Spring.
“My first thought was the grand parkway going through Spring, Texas," Posadas said." It was really close to where we were, our Taco Crave in Spring, and it disrupted a lot of businesses. [Some of my] friends had to close businesses down because [the construction] took so long.”
Posadas isn't certain that an interstate would necessarily bring in more traffic to his locally owned restaurant, as opposed to t major fast-food chains. Still, he said the idea of a completed interstate does have its perks.
“I like the idea, as long as it’s not going through town, you know," he commented. "If it’s on the outskirts of town, I think it will bring a lot of development to the area.”
According to the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation [EDC], this new road bringing east and west Texas together could be a welcome route for many industries in the local area.
“Companies really look for and ask for the type of transportation that an interstate brings," said Matt Prochaska, President, and CEO of the Brazos Valley EDC. "Often they’re wanting to know - what is the access to major metros in the surrounding area?”
Prochaska noted that Interstate-14 coming through town could be just one important piece of an even bigger picture of economic development.
This would include the potential construction of an Interstate-214 corridor loop in the local area, and the proposed installation of a high-speed train that would pass through Grimes County.
“All of this together really benefits us, and it gives us more competition and a greater leg up, in terms of our development of economic efforts in the Brazos Valley," Prochaska said.
A major question remains: would metropolitan development change the close-knit community atmosphere of Aggieland?
“We’ve got the benefits of maybe a larger metropolitan area, but also the benefits of a more small-town feel, the great relationships, and quality of life," Prochaska commented. "And I think all of those will be enhanced with I-14.”
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