Heard that before

Joshua Lucero: Staff photo Drivers take a detour Wednesday afternoon while construction crews prepare to reopen the outside lane of West Second Street. The construction, which has taken nearly 27 months to complete, is said to be wrapping up in about two weeks, but a few business owners are skeptical of the expected completion date.

Joshua Lucero: Staff photo
Drivers take a detour Wednesday afternoon while construction crews prepare to reopen the outside lane of West Second Street. The construction, which has taken nearly 27 months to complete, is said to be wrapping up in about two weeks, but a few business owners are skeptical of the expected completion date.

By Joshua Lucero
Staff writer
jlucero@cnjonline.com

Chuck Abbott is aware the road construction through the heart of Portales is supposedly coming to an end. He remains skeptical.
“They (Constructors Inc. officials) have been saying it would be done time after time,” said Abbott, who owns Big League Sports on the Portales square. “They don’t seem to be in a hurry. They’ve definitely not done anything they said they were going to do time-frame wise.”

Road-working officials said Tuesday they expect to wrap up the project in the next two weeks. It’s taken nearly 27 months to complete the two-mile reconstruction of U.S. 70. Officials initially estimated it would be done by August 2013.
Because of the construction, Abbott said his store lost walk-in retail sales that resulted in an unusually slow summer in 2013 and that bled into his fall 2013 business.
“It was a nightmare for traffic to get in and out of my business for close to six months,” he said.

Not all downtown Portales business owners were hit hard. Woody’s Jewelry owner Danny Woodward said his Second Street business wasn’t affected by the construction.
But most, like Do Drop In owner Kamille Mountjoy, are glad to hear the project is almost over.
“I’m so excited that it may be done,” she said. … “We’ve heard that before.”

Mountjoy said the project also hurt her business while the road next to her Main Street establishment was being reconstructed.
She said customers had problems getting to the restaurant.
But she also said the construction crews did their best to get the road back to normal despite the rain delays they experienced during construction.