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Main Street's night-time construction is good, area businesses say

By Brian Cuaron
May 19, 2011 at 12:19 a.m.

The final paving on Main Street  between Constitution and Juan Linn streets began Thursday.

WHAT WILL THEY BE DOING ON MAIN STREETWorkers are paving the street by pouring underseal on Friday.

They will also put down another level of surface on Monday and Tuesday, and then layer down the final level of paving on Wednesday and Thursday, said Ken Gill, city engineer.

The owner of Beijing Garden has held shop long enough on Main Street to learn how to put up with street construction.

That doesn't mean he enjoys it, though.

"I really don't mind. I just want them to finish up quickly," said restaurant owner Jimmy Tang, who has been on Main Street for 15 years. "It seems like they're doing the same work, repeat over and over."

Good news for Tang and other area business owners is that the city is almost done with working on Main Street between Constitution and Juan Linn streets. Workers began paving that section by limiting it to one lane on Thursday from 7 p.m to 6 a.m. Work will continue Friday, and Monday through Thursday of next week.

The city decided to work at night to ease traffic and parking conditions during the project's final phase. Many of the restaurants along that stretch of road are closed before the work begins.

"That's not going to affect us," said Jeremy Hester, a barista at Longleaf Coffee Company that operates 7 a.m. through 5 p.m.

One business owner especially helped by the night-time construction is Marbella Baez of Taqueria Mi Familia. She said that business goes down when there's a lot of construction, but only operates her restaurant 6 a.m. through 2 p.m.

Ken Gill, city engineer, said the city communicates with business owners in the area about its work. If someone has questions or concerns about the project, they can call him at 361-485-3340.

Councilwoman Denise Rangel, whose district includes the downtown area, said the construction company working on Main Street has received compliments from her constituents. One man told Rangel that the company cleaned up its mess in front of his house after they were done working there.

"Parking is a problem and going around is one, but the construction workers are wonderful," she said.

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