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Business owners react to upcoming road construction projects in Early

By Shenna Stout, sstout@ktxs.com
Published On: Nov 13 2012 07:52:51 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 13 2012 07:54:16 PM CST
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

Folks in Early and Brownwood will be dealing with a couple construction projects soon.

The Texas Department of Transportation will build a new street connecting County Road 381, better known as Old May Road, to US 183 in Early.

For the most part business owners can agree the new road, Heartland Drive, will be beneficial, but one business owner is worried it will hurt his restaurant.

The road will be directly behind the new Bruner dealership that is being build currently.

Charlotte Parrack at Heartland Mall isn't worried the construction will stop holiday shoppers.

"We're sitting in four major highways right here, so it's just going to bring that much more traffic and that many more people to this area, and we're excited about that," said Parrack.

However, Mike Thaqi, Owner of Prima Pasta, is worried the construction will impact the entrance to his restaurant off Old May Road.

Prima Pasta's other entrance is not accessible for those traveling from Brownwood unless they drive past the restaurant and turn around.

"It's going to hurt my business because they've got the divider in the middle. There's no way, I mean, to turn into my parking lot," said Thaqi.

But even Thaqi agrees the project could be beneficial in the long run.

"After the construction probably it's going to be better" said Thaqi.

Construction for Heartland Drive will begin in two weeks, and should be complete by spring.

Other than the Heartland Drive project, TxDot will also be starting a second project to US 84.

A center turn lane will be added to create five lanes form the US 67/377 intersection to the FM 2126 intersection.

Also, resurfacing on US 84 from Turtle Creek to about a quarter mile west of FM 2125 will be done.

The $4 million project should be finished in about a year.