Troy residents worry I-35 may harm businesses

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 00:49:43-05

Several Troy residents are expressing concern over a leg of I-35 construction.

Construction crews have closed the two way access road along the northbound frontage road. As a result, drivers will have to head Northbound and turn around to get back to Troy's Main Street. 

Any given day you can find Toby Driscoll eating lunch at Settler's Point Plaza. Driscoll, a Troy business owner, is able to grab something and head back to work relatively easy, I:t's about 15 seconds from this location to main street," he said. 

Monday, that became a thing of the past. Crews shut down one lane of the access road to begin construction. "So now there is no access to main street you have to go north to big elm over the overpass and come back down," Driscoll said. 

That drive is roughly 12 minutes. Driscoll is worried about the effect that could have on first responders traveling the stretch of road. He's also worried how the businesses at Settler's Point Plaza will be effected. 

That's why Driscoll made a Youtube video asking for support. With hundreds of views Driscoll actually received a response from the governor that  the project will be reexamined. 

Unfortunately, TXDOT said there are a few road blocks . Officials say the issue partly arose because I-35 construction was planned before the plaza opened in 2008.

Jodi Wheatley, Public Information Officer for I-35 said the one lane closure is temporary but they have to eliminate the two way lanes. ""It has to come to it being one lane permanently it's a requirement of the government," Wheatley said Federal law dictates that access roads are one direction. As I-35 construction progresses they are making the change one town at a time. 

In addition to complying with the law, the construction will allow for the installation of drainage pipes to keep the highway from flooding. Wheatley said that the long turnaround is just temporary, Troy residents can expect a closer one to open this summer. 

Drsicoll worries that some of the businesses may not make it that long. ""To me it just looked like to me kind of the big bully syndrome some big entity is hurting these small businesses and I didn't think that was fair," he said. 

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