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Construction creates struggle for Socorro business owner

By: Stacey Welsh
SOCORRO, Texas -- Pilo Morales Jr. said he has lost more than 60 percent of his business at Pilo's Apparel Connection since construction on Horizon Boulevard started over the summer.

"In December, usually the 22, 23 and 24, I usually sell $300 [worth of clothes] a day. This year, I sold $25 a day," Morales said.

Socorro City Council Representative At Large Rene Rodriguez said the project will add a lane in each direction to Horizon between North Loop Drive and Alameda Avenue. He said the total cost is about $9 million, and the Texas Department of Transportation is funding most of the construction.

Rodriguez expects Socorro to pay about $300,000 for the project.

Morales said he and other people in the area have been frustrated because they have not seen crews working on the road on a regular basis. Rodriguez said this is because workers have to finish installing utilities before work can continue on the road.

"They're moving the water, gas, electricity, then they will move forward," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also said crews are working on the road in sections. The city expects the project to help traffic flow in the area.

While Morales said he is looking forward to the new road, he feels construction is taking too long.

"I have to struggle for the next two to three months, whatever it takes. Fortunately, I don't have to pay rent because I run my business out of my house. If I had to pay rent, I would have shut down already," Morales said.

Despite the need for more business, the city is asking local owners to be patient.

"There's more people in our city, so that means more volume of customers. All they need to do is just weather the storm," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez expects construction to be complete on Horizon in about six months.



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