Construction on Loy Lake Bridge has Drivers Frustrated; But Busi - - No One Gets You Closer

Construction on Loy Lake Bridge has Drivers Frustrated; But Businesses Thriving

SHERMAN, TX -- If you've been to the Sherman Town Center this summer, you've probably spent some time sitting in traffic. The Loy Lake Bridge has been closed since May. The construction has left the area congested and drivers say alternate routes can add up to 15 minutes. 

Nearly every driver KTEN spoke to says they're frustrated by the construction. And looking at all the backups and delays, it makes sense that some businesses are hurting a bit from the chaos. But surprisingly, not all the businesses KTEN spoke to are suffering. 

"Other than taking an alternate route to work is hasn't been bad at all," said Brian Dean with Best Buy in Sherman. 

Construction on the Loy Lake Bridge project began in May, completely shutting down the bridge and parts of Highway 75. And because of that, the Sherman Town Center has had many more traffic back ups than usual.  

"I am very frustrated with the construction," said Cindy Stevens, a frequent driver in the area. 

Drivers are forced to take detours around the town center. And some workers say that didn't pan out so well with recent "back-to-school" rush.  

"It was really crowded," said Jordan Moore, who works at Academy. "We actually lost some business because people couldn't find it because the bridge is closed." 

But other local businesses say the impact has been minimal. 

"How can you pass up on the scenery behind me," said Dean. "As well as the technology that's out. I mean every kid, well realistically everyone needs a new computer, a new tablet, a new smart phone and that sort of thing. And they can get it all in one little area. And that area is right here." 

Local restaurant owners say business is still flowing. But they're ready for the bridge to open again because it has put some challenges on their employees. 

"It will be better for our drivers," said Shelia Hardin. "Because right now they're having to go out on alternate routes too and sometimes it takes a bit longer to get to the deliveries." 

TxDot says the renovation project will widen the bridge from two to four lanes, with a left turn lane to relieve congestion near the shopping center. And drivers say it's frustrating now, but it will be worth it. 

"I am hopeful, optimistic, that construction will someday mean improvements in getting around," said Stevens. 

TxDot says the target end date for construction is May 2015. The bridge should be re-opened sometime before that, though there is no set date for that happening. TxDot says construction is going smoothly.