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Airway braided ramp project affects nearby businesses in different ways

Airway construction

Traffic troubles near Airway Boulevard and I-10 are causing local business owners to change things up.

Gateway East and Gateway West are both down to one lane as the Texas Department of Transportation continues to work on its braided ramp project.

The bumper-to-bumper traffic on Gateway East near Airway Boulevard has slowed sales down at Batteries PlusBulbs.

“It has impacted our sales by over 20 percent, a drop from last year,” said owner Charlie Norton.

Norton said the business is used to seeing about 70 customers walk through the door every day, but that’s no longer the case, due to construction.

“This is normally our busiest time, between 4 and 6 p.m., and you can tell there’s nobody here. It’s just, traffic gets worse as the day goes on,” he said.

TxDOT is working on its braided ramp project, which should ultimately alleviate traffic in the area. But for now, drivers and businesses have to put up with the temporary increase in traffic.

“If everyone was courteous, that would be another thing but, unfortunately, there’s a lot of uncourteous drivers that don’t let people in,” said Norton.

Next door at All That Music, sales have actually gone up.

“We’re seeing a lot of new faces and I’m really pleased with it,” said owner George Reynoso.

He told KFOX14 that the store has become a way for people to beat the traffic.

“Generally, Gateway is 50 mph traffic east or west so it’s very, very hard for people to come in here. Now, the people are slowed down to 20 to 25 mph. They’re actually starting to come in,” Reynoso said.

With construction expected to go on until November, stores such as Batteries +Plus Bulbs are coming up with new ways to drive sales in the meantime.

“We’re doing free delivery throughout the town, which we encourage if they don’t want to come in. If they know what they need, we’ll just deliver it free. But they’re still a little upset. We just have to live through it,” Norton said.

TxDOT encourages drivers to take alternate routes to avoid the bulk of the traffic.

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