Businesses along Mesa feeling financial effects amid pandemic and construction projects

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Drivers in El Paso continue to see construction or road closures across the city. Some of it is part of ongoing projects from TxDOT to fix or improve some roads.

However, one area on the Westside says it’s affecting business.

Many drivers use Mesa street as a main road when traveling on the Westside, but construction leaves some frustrated and others avoiding the area altogether.

TxDOT El Paso encourages drivers to only use Mesa street as a route if their final destination lies within those boundaries.

One local business that’s been open for 5 months along Mesa says its striving to stay alive with fewer people stopping by.

“Now again, we don’t know what to do,” said owner of El Paso Wing House, Juan Lopez, “Now you have to go all the way to Executive and make a U-turn to come back. Then you have to go all the way to the Sun Bowl to make a U-turn and come back. So that’s been affecting the business.”

For some background, the construction is part of TxDOT’s Mesa Street Rehabilitation project which started almost a year ago.

Spokesperson Jennifer Wright with TxDOT El Paso says the purpose of the project is to dig out and replace the base of the old road, “Mesa was built at about 1920. So it’s 100-year-old road and there’s been a lot of overlay happening within that time.”

The construction is happening in phases: the limits include Glory Road to Baltimore, and Shadow Mountain to Sunland Park.

TxDOT reminds drivers what alternate routes drivers should take to avoid unnecessary slow downs on the road, “To people who are experiencing frustration along Mesa, we really recommend that they use I-10 as an alternate route. They can use I-10, Loop 375, or Paisano depending on their destination, just to get around that area of construction on Mesa if they’re not destined for one of those businesses or homes within the segment that’s being worked on,” Wright shared.

Officials also add they keep up to date with businesses in the area who may be affected from the construction.

“When the switches have come up on this project, they come up pretty quickly. So we use phone calls basically to update the businesses when we’re headed their way so they have some advance knowledge of it,” Wright shared.

While the owner of El Paso Wing House works to keep business alive, he says he puts himself in the shoes of others who may be choosing elsewhere, “If I see them, and I want wings, but there’s a Wing Stop where you make the U-turn, I’m going to stop at Wing Stop. So it’s pretty hard on us. It’s hitting hard,” Lopez said.

Lopez shares the restaurant will be adjusting its hours to help gain more business, “After the bars close, we’re going to be still open so we can get a little bit more business because of the construction as well so that way we can stay open and stay alive.”

TxDOT El Paso says it still encourages the community to support businesses on Mesa street, but also be patient and courteous to others on the road, “People need to generally need to use caution and be courteous because they are in a construction zone, and there are dangers in a construction zone. Heavy equipment, unexpected movements of other vehicles, so be courteous. Let people in, slow down, pay attention, and we’ll all get through this by Fall,” Wright shared.

According to TxDOT El Paso, there’s about 3 months more of road work to be done, then 3 more months of work to be done on intersections along Mesa.

To find out when El Paso Wing House is open or check out deals/upcoming events, check them out on Facebook or on Instagram @epwinghouse. The restaurant is located on 4028 N. Mesa St and also carries delivery options.

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