A rough road ahead

Burleson Street project to take up to 18 months

Once a nearly $7 million project to rebuild and widen north Burleson Street in Kyle kicks off this year, nearby businesses might have a hard time dealing with construction.

The project will consist of rebuilding and widening North Burleson Street, along with the construction of an extension of Marketplace to I-35. A contract was approved with M.A. Smith Contracting Co. Inc., an Austin-based company, for an amount not to exceed approximately $6.9 million, a figure that includes a five percent contingency.

The city anticipates work to begin after Labor Day and last 15 to 18 months; the Burleson Street project is expected to be completed around spring 2020.

Kim Hilsenbeck, Kyle communications specialist, said in an emailed response the contractor will provide access to businesses as best they can, but access will be limited during certain times of construction. Utilities need to be moved, which will take time, and also lead to finding further issues to be corrected.

“We will do what we can to mitigate the inconvenience for residents and business owners, but the reality is, it’s a major construction project on a key road. It will be inconvenient. Folks will have to find new routes,” Hilsenbeck said in an email. “But everyone wants nice new, smooth roads, so it’s a trade off. When it’s all completed, it will be nice to drive on and safer.”

Julie Snyder, CEO of the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, said there’s always a challenge for businesses when there’s construction. The most important way a business can ensure they last is by keeping communication with customers flowing.

Snyder recommends businesses should inform clientele they are still open, and inform them of any possible detours that may exist, as well as to plan ahead.

“First of all, you want to make sure your customers can still get to you, especially if you’re a walk-in kind of thing,” Synder said. “Typically, people will avoid an area because of construction.”

No one wants to lose an opportunity for new business, but construction on roads typically leads to a better outcome for business owners, she said.

“Once that transportation is taken care of, it makes it easier for new and current clients to come to you,” Snyder said.

The city has contacted about 90 percent of all owners and renters along the road that will be affected by construction, according to an email from Jo Ann Garcia, project manager with the city engineer’s office.

They were advised that that once the road was closed in front of their homes, it would be closed for about eight weeks. During that time, their mail will be held at the post office.

Hilsenbeck said the city asks that Kyle residents drive with caution once construction starts, to leave additional travel time and pay attention to road signs.

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