Business owners brace for partial Westheimer closure - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Business owners brace for partial Westheimer closure

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From above, Skyfox gives us a pretty clear view of what has the potential to cause a real traffic nightmare just inside the West Loop along Westheimer.

All that heavy machinery, the holes along the railroad here are part of a Harris County flood control project - known as W129-00-00.

It's a 13.2 million dollar effort to improve drainage, strengthen infrastructure, and replace 50 year old bridges that allow drivers to cross the tracks at Westheimer and San Felipe, two of some of the heaviest traveled roads connecting the Galleria area, Uptown and Highland Village.

Starting Monday, Westheimer will temporarily become a two lane road.

Business owners are already bracing for impact.

"We already have two lanes on each side, and it's bad traffic," said Chef Kiran Verma, of Kiran's. "Can you imagine just having one lane? Being close to the Galleria and Highland Village, there's a concern of shoppers who are trying to use the same street as diners who are coming to the restaurant."

Kiran's, is located right next to the heart of the construction project.

The fear of a 30 day traffic jam is real. People shop and work here. Some live in nearby neighborhoods. And others drive though here to avoid an often packed Southwest Freeway and 610 West Loop.

They will all tell you the train already halts their commute.

The lane closure is an added slow down.

Chef Kiran is now reconsidering her daily impromptu grocery store runs, asking employees to head to work sooner, and bracing for a slew of late arrivals for customer reservations.

"Of course, you know it's a big concern, but in every business there is a challenge," she said. "I'm preparing myself by telling our guests, by sending out emails, and by being on Facebook and Twitter."

The Westheimer partial closure is scheduled to start March 10 and last about a month. The San Felipe bridge is scheduled for a two week complete shut down in the summer.

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