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Country Club Road closure killing businesses, owners say
By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- A congested Upper Valley road under construction for about a month just became even more of a headache for drivers and business owners.
Monday marked the first day Country Club Road from Doniphan Drive to Love Road is completely closed. El Paso city officials said the complete closure will last until March 2014.
By that time, however, many business owners said they may be forced to shut their doors.
"We're about 50 percent off of our business and I don't know if we can survive that," said Julie Cabrales, owner of San Isidro Mexican Restaurant.
Cabrales said after just one year in business, she's already been forced to cut hours.
"We used to be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday. Well, now were 7 a.m. To 3 p.m. Everyday of the week because the customers are less inclined to come in the evening," said Cabrales.
Cabrales said they've also had to cut back on food deliveries.
"We're not getting it as fresh as we used to because we could order for delivery and they would come and bring the delivery. Now we have had to order more produce so that they don't have to make all this running around," said Cabrales.
That's because detours are taking drivers about 20 minutes longer than usual. According to the city of El Paso, these are the recommended detours:
For drivers traveling eastbound: Take Mcnutt Road southbound to Sunland Park Drive eastbound to Doniphan Drive or Interstate 10.
For drivers traveling westbound: Take Interstate 10 or Doniphan Drive to Artcraft Road westbound to McNutt Road southbound.
Business owners said they've been fearing this day since before Country Club Road first went under construction at the end of September.
James Booth, the owner of J B Integrity Automotive, compared his monthly incomes in 2012 to 2013. Since construction began, he too has lost about 50 percent of business. He said he's not even breaking even.
"Numbers-wise, I've already had to lay off a person because I can't afford to pay him. I went from working 11-12hours a day to working 16 just trying to keep my doors open," said Booth.
When talking with the city, they recommended filing a claim of his losses. But Booth said by the time he can file a claim and would receive any compensation, his business would no longer exist.
"I'll be lucky to be here by February," said Booth.
While Booth and Cabrale both said city representatives said they would set up an emergency meeting with business owners last week, they still haven't heard anything.