Los Fresnos News

Rough Road Ahead

Businesses Struggle through Construction on Highway 100

Lanes closed off at the main intersection of Highway 100 & S Arroyo Blvd
Photo was taken by Victor Moreno, Los Fresnos News

Emilio Flores
Los Fresnos News

Many are aware of the road work happening on State Highway 100/Ocean Boulevard. Whether you are a resident of Los Fresnos, or you’ve taken your family on a trip this summer to enjoy our amazing South Padre Island, the construction is an obvious inconvenience. Construction started in May, and ever since, traffic has been slower through town. Customers getting in and out of the local businesses and shops around the area has taken longer and become more difficult.
In an interview with the City Manager, Mark Milum, explained some of the slowdowns and difficulties construction workers have faced. “There’s been a couple. They located a Gas line that they weren’t aware was there and had to get that moved.”

Local Shops Respond to Construction Work
Many business owners have struggled and tried to adjust in order to keep their businesses open. Back in May, Godoy’s Bakery posted on their Facebook page new routes for their entrances just to get into their bakery. They’ve been having difficulty ever since the road work started and have seen sales drop because of it. The bakery has since tried to make adjustments. Cris Godoy explained “Our sales dropped, 60 to 80 percent.”

He said that Godoy’s Bakery started taking their bread to sell at other places, wherever they could. “Port Isabel, Brownsville, San Benito, and that wasn’t enough so we started making flour tortillas… That was another thing that helped us remain here in Los Fresnos.”

But Godoy said that it’s still not enough for them to remain in Los Fresnos. “It’s already to the point where we’re done, you know.. We’re out of money.”

Godoy and his brother Sabino Godoy have been running their bakery for two years now and said that “It’s pretty hard for us… For us to remain here. We don’t have any days to rest.. Because we don’t have money to pay our employees.”

Jerrod Leon Henry, the self-proclaimed “Mexican Hillbilly,” is also the owner of Rio Grande Distillery. Like Godoy’s Bakery, Henry’s liquor store has been suffering from the road work being done on State Highway 100/Ocean Boulevard. He also has said that he will be relocating his Liquor store.
When asked what the City of Los Fresnos has done to help these small businesses, Mark Milum, City Manager told Los Fresnos News “We’ve been trying to promote them, and trying to be sure that they have access in and out of their business.” and when asked how they’ve promoted these businesses Milum responded “Social media, And the Chamber has been doing a good job of that.”

Road Construction and Estimated Time-Frame
Milum further explained the benefits and reasoning behind the construction work. He noted the sidewalks will be ADA compliant. “People can get around the way they need to get around.”

Roads will also be a little wider in some places for better traffic flow. The project has had some slowdowns with prolonged rains and weather interference. But Milum said there “shouldn’t be anymore slowdowns, and they should be moving along pretty well.”

When asked about the time-frame of the project he says “original plan was 11 months. Trying to meet that, even though there’s been delays.”

In summary, Milum asks people to “be patient, and go to our businesses along that area” “Everyone has always had access to their businesses, it just hasn’t been great because traffic backs up so people don’t want to wait.”