Quest for easy commute is killing businesses - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Quest for easy commute is killing businesses

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Houston's eternal quest for a less-congested commute on the northwest side is pushing some local businesses out of business.

Construction has already begun on a $1.8 billion upgrade to US-290, which will add lanes and expand the freeway's footprint.

But TxDOT tells FOX 26 News, that improvement necessarily spells doom for 380 separate pieces of property along the feeder roads.

One of them is a Casa Ole restaurant at Highway 290 and W. 34th Street.

"They're going to be taking the whole front part of our building completely out," said restaurant owner Bob Domec. "What are you gonna do?"

Domec knows he will have to close. He's just not sure when.

"I'm trying to make it as pain-free as I can for my employees and my customers," he said.

Along Washington Avenue, the same construction project is causing similar headaches for Steve Christian, owner of Christian's Tailgate Sports Bar & Grill. The improvements are expected to gobble up about half of his front parking lot.

"It's pretty much going to close me down," Christian told FOX 26. "I won't have enough parking for people to come in."

Steve Christian says construction will claim right up to – but not over – his property line so he has not been offered a buyout.

TxDOT's Karen Othon says the improvements are needed to serve a growing population on the northwest side of town. The end result will be a faster and safer commute on US-290, she adds.

"We have over 250,000 people a day coming in on 290," Othon said. "That shows you right there what the growth is."

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