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Steps to ease traffic on Country Club Road won't be much help, says business owners

Updated: Tuesday, February 18 2014, 09:08 AM MST

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Many business owners in the Upper Valley have cut hours, let go of employees and some have even shut their doors because of the Country Club Road closure.

Since Country Club Road's complete closure on Nov. 18, 2013, area business owners have been struggling.

“I don't know if I’ll be here next month,” James Booth, the owner of JB Integrity Automotive.

Booth has already let go of his entire staff.

“It’s just me,” said Booth.

Across the street from Booth, San Isidro Restaurant cut back hours and staff. The dog grooming shop in the same shopping complex closed their doors. There answering machine says, “Hi, you've reached Dianne’s Dog Grooming. Due to construction, we have temporarily been moved.”

“They’re literally choking every business that we have down there out,” said Booth.

Showing KFOX14 crews his bank statements, Booth said he’s lost more than 50 percent of his business.

“My bank account right now is at $122. So I’m doing anything and everything trying to bring some money in here just to keep me alive,” said Booth.

Booth has turned to selling scrap metal from his shop just to make an extra few bucks.

With these problems a spokesperson with the El Paso City Engineering Department said relief is in sight.

“We expect by March to fully reopen to two-way traffic kind of in the far western end of Country Club -- from Willow Creek to Santa Teresita. Then by about April or early May, we expect to reopen to two-way traffic on Country Club from Love Road to Doniphan,” said Martin Bartelett.

While nearby residents said these openings will ease some of their frustrations and possibly eliminate their 20-minute detour, depending on where they’re going, Booth questioned if that will really help the businesses.

“It’s going to open up what, maybe 100 houses,” said Booth.

Bartlett said all business owners are encouraged to file a claim with the city, but many owners said they don't see the point.

“The city attorney basically told me that it’s going to get denied. If the San Antonio Street closure got denied, why am I going to be any different?” asked booth.

If he makes it through the closure, Booth said it'll take him about one year to get back on his feet.

Bartlett said construction on Country Club Road is expected to be finished in February 2015. To keep track of the construction, people can sign up for online newsletters by visiting the city’s engineering website. Http://home.elpasotexas.gov/engineering/

Steps to ease traffic on Country Club Road won't be much help, says business owners


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