Downtown Round Rock undergoing major change
A long project is underway that will changed the face of downtown Round Rock. It's all part of the city's master plan to rebuild roads and attract more people to the area but it hasn't come without a few roadblocks.
Construction crews and their equipment blanket blocks of downtown Round Rock. Round Rock's Downtown Manager Courtney Ainsworth says, "We don't want to sugarcoat it. Construction isn't fun for anyone."
It's especially not fun for drivers who sit in traffic and businesses who rely on customers. "They are our bread and butter for sure," Ainsworth says.
The construction project is part of a $13 million plan to update the area. The plan includes redesigned roads, more sidewalks and new landscaping. The ultimate goal is to make the area a destination for diners and people wanting to shop.
Ainsworth says, "We've already made some strides to get to that goal. This is another piece of that puzzle"
The construction project is expected to last at least two years. During that time local businesses hope that does not impact their bottom line.
Julia Broadway owns the boutique Sweet Love & Sugar Britches and calls the construction "a nightmare."
Her business sits along the construction route but Broadway believes that it's all growing pains.
"It's been painful. It's impacted us some. But I think in the long run our customers will see us through as they have always done."
To keep her customers and attract new ones, Broadway and other stores are having more sales, using social media and advertising. Banners reading "We Are Open" are placed outside many storefronts.
"I think the plan is going to be wonderful when it's all said and done but it's just going to take some time," Broadway says.
While the project is going on, the city is doing what it can to help. That includes using signs, directing drivers to temporary entrances for local businesses and parking.
"It's going to be a long two years but in the end I think it's going to be beautiful and wonderful for Round Rock," Broadway says.
The city is doing other things to keep drivers and customers happy as well. Recently they had a donut drop, where city employees handed out the sweet treats to people sitting in traffic.
The construction is scheduled to be done by March 2017.