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Major reconstruction set to begin on main road in Sweetwater

Sweetwater businesses brace for major road construction

SWEETWATER, Texas - Major construction starts next week on a main thoroughfare in Sweetwater.

The $6.5 million project will reconstruct Lamar Street from I-20 to Avenue B and will take about six months to complete.

The project has been a year in the making.

While most Sweetwater residents agree the road is a good idea, they're split on how it will affect their businesses until it's done.

Ted Basye, pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Place, said he'll be happy once the road gets its makeover.

"We need a road reconstruction," Basye said. "Our road isn't in terrible shape, but it can use some help."

Some business owners are more optimistic than others.

Owner of Gill's Gold 'n Crisp Fried Chicken Laura Gill said the reconstruction will drive customers away.

"It's going to hurt our business a little bit until they're done," Gill said.

"I'm sure we'll have to make some adjustments, but we've got access from behind so that's not going to be a big problem for us," Basye said. "It seems like anytime you get something nice, you have to adjust and go through whatever it takes to get there."

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the project is expected to be completed by February of next year.

"If they get it done in seven months, I'll be extremely pleased," Basye said. "As long as they do it right, whatever it takes, it'll be alright."

"They're talking about a year...and that is a long, long time," Gill said.

The last time Lamar Street was completely reconstructed was in 1952.

The Texas Department of Transportation said one of the requirements of the project is that drivers will still have access to all businesses on Lamar.

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