LUBBOCK, Texas — Local businesses said they are frustrated with the 19th Street construction delays after seeing a decline in customers, they shared with EverythingLubbock.com on Thursday.
Hayashi MidTown and Diva Lashes both explained that they rely on walk-ins and haven’t gotten nearly as many customers as they did before the project started in July 2022.
Simon Coulombe, the manager at Hayashi told EverythingLubbock.com that many customers don’t have time to navigate the construction on their lunch breaks.
“Normally for a lunch rush, our restaurant will get full for at least one to two hours, but now we’re lucky to get full for 30 minutes. So, it’s definitely been a lot less foot traffic ever since the construction started,” Coulombe detailed.
The Texas Department of Transportation responded by saying the project on U.S. Highway 62 and 19th Street between University Avenue and Memphis Avenue is about one month behind schedule.
“Right now, our main issue is getting approved hot mix for the roadway and so, they’re having some trouble getting that- there being a new contractor to the area and that sort of stuff,” said Michael Wittie, Lubbock area Engineer for TxDOT overseeing the project.
TxDOT said it has been more than one month since workers have been out working on 19th Street.
“We are encountering utilities. We had some rain back in October. We had the cold weather in early, mid-December, and then of course, the snow this week,” Wittie shared. “So, we’re seeing some weather delays and then we are also seeing some material delays with the contractor themselves.”
Zoe Carpenter, a lash tech at Diva Lashes, said customers have come in 10-30 minutes late, citing the construction.
“They would complain about how long it took them to get here and having to go around, and having some of the exits closed off,” Carpenter explained. “Further into the fall, we lost more business, and we had some people stop showing up. I just noticed that it would be a little less people throughout the day.”
The delays aren’t ideal to those overseeing the project either, Wittie said.
“I’m as frustrated as they are, but at the same time, we’re working with a contractor to get through this process and move forward.”
A few other businesses in the strip that declined to speak on camera said they had different experiences, as they do not usually get a lot of walk-ins. Those businesses fill online orders, so the construction has not made much of an impact.
“I hope it finishes faster than it will, but fingers crossed,” Coulombe shared, “I hope everybody gets used to the traffic and is able to fit [a visit] into their schedule and come here and eat. That’d be great.”
TxDOT said it hopes to make up the lost time and finish the project by summer 2025.