Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Access issues for Cesar Chavez business

Updated: Sunday, 12 Dec 2010, 9:25 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 12 Dec 2010, 3:34 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Dozens of eager eaters stood in the chilly wind waiting to get a bite of tasty Juan in a Million. Orange and white barricades didn't detour their appetites.

"Gotta get around it. We have to park far away but it's worth it," said one hungry man waiting in line.

City of Austin construction crews waited too. Heavy equipment and barricades are already in place. Starting Monday morning, Cesar Chavez at Mildred street will be shut down. Drivers will have to detour at Robert T. Martinez and Pedernales through the neighborhoods to the north and south.

"This is right in the middle of the Christmas season, the holiday season and there's no access to the street at all," said Juan Meza, owner of Juan in a Million.

There won't be street access until next year. Crews are not planning to be complete until January 31, 2011. A month and a half is a lot of time for most businesses. Every day and every dollar counts.

"Luckily we've been in business for 30 years and we have some following other than that, If I was a new business, I would go broke," said Meza.

Juan in a Million restaurant sits right in the middle of the construction zone.

"It seems like they're digging the same hole over and over, year after year. First electrical line then some other type of line. There's always something going on."

Although heavy machinery doesn't turn on until Monday morning, people driving Cesar Chavez Sunday morning had already created their own detour through a store parking lot at Mildred street.

"This is a major thoroughfare to the airport and what not and it's a pain in the butt," said Meza.

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