North Texas Daily

Highway construction forces business closures

Highway construction forces business closures

Highway construction forces business closures
August 06
20:52 2014

Drew Cannedy / Contributing Writer

Denton businesses near the I-35E access roads are starting to close due to the Texas Department of Transportation’s highway expansion project. A gas station is already gone and McDonald’s is next.

The first phase of the 35Express expansion project in Denton will widen the highway around North Texas Boulevard, to have three lanes of traffic going both north and south, according to the 35Express website.

The Exxon gas station on North Texas Boulevard at the entrance of UNT closed several months ago and its owners haven’t been able to find a new location yet, Douglass Distributing President Roger Warren said.

“We had to sell it because of Texas’ eminent domain,” Warren said.

The gas station off McCormick Street and other businesses near I-35E have also closed down because of eminent domain, in which the state compensated the property for public use.

The McDonald’s by the Exxon off the I-35E access road will also be closing and has already been sold for around $2 million dollars, manager Rony Ramirez said.

“We tried to keep it open, but there was nothing we could do,” Ramirez said. “We were supposed to close in August when construction was going to start, but it got moved back.”

Ramirez said that many businesses off the highway between McCormick Street and North Texas Boulevard are closing, including Taco Cabana, Pancho’s Mexican Buffet and Discount Tire.

Sack’n Save and IHOP will not have to close because of their distance from the highway.

“I don’t know how the expansion will affect the business as of now,” Sack’n Save manager Ken Pulliam said. “I do know that we’ll have to move the sign back and lose half of our parking lot. But the owner does intend to keep the business running.”

The IHOP is on UNT property and eminent domain laws don’t affect the restaurant, manager Marcus Bower said.

“I think we’re already pretty visible and this won’t matter to our business,” he said. “We’re more concerned with the foot traffic from the university.”

UNT isn’t going to lose any land from the I-35E expansion, but TxDOT will expand the highway right up to the universities property line by the intramural fields and the Apogee stadium sign, according to UNT Facilities.

The entire TxDot project stretches 30 miles through eight cities. Construction began in October 2013 and the expansion is projected to finish early 2017, according to the 35Express website.

Many businesses off the highway between McCormick Street and North Texas Boulevard are closing, including Taco Cabana, Pancho’s Mexican Buffet and Discount Tire. Photo by Drew Cannedy.

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