Work on Avenue Q is expected to wrap soon after nearly six months of renovations. Staff photo by Nathan Bush
Roadwork on Avenue Q in Marble Falls is almost done after six months of construction and delays, and no one is happier to hear that than the business owners who depend on the street to bring them customers.
“We’re going to have a big blast outside (when the road reopens),” said Rosie Franco, owner of Chique Unique & Antique.
Sales for the antiques shop have been down since roadwork began in June.
“We’ve gone days without anyone coming in here,” Franco said.
A sign installed along RR 1431 on Nov. 29 has helped drive motorists to an alternative route to the store.
“That first day, we had four people come in and say, ‘We saw the sign!’” Franco said. “We’re starting to get more people. We think it’s going to get better.”
The lengthy construction timeline has also impacted other Avenue Q businesses, including Pablito’s Tacos.
“Sales have been horrible,” said owner Lizet Ponce. “People don’t want to worry about going though the Avenue N (stoplight) to get to our window. It’s a hassle.”
The city is aware of the impact that construction has had on those businesses, said Marble Falls Mayor Dave Rhodes.
“There’s unfortunate collateral issues involved in these sorts of things,” he told DailyTrib.com. “There’s just no other way around it. At the end of the day, the business community and the community at-large will benefit from it. They’ll get a new street with better access. It’s the pain involved in making the soup.”
Rhodes anticipates the roadwork will wrap up soon.
“We’re literally weeks (away),” he said. “If you look closely, they are forming concrete for the curbing. We’re going to pour concrete for the curbs, and then right after that, they’ll press asphalt.”
Weather conditions could potentially slow the final steps.
“You don’t want to pour asphalt when it’s really cold,” Rhodes said. “It needs to have some amount of warmth when you press it so it will harden as one and seal. They pour it hot, but if it’s too cold, it will cool too fast. Like other things that cool too fast, it will crack and it won’t form a good seal.”
Crews started work on Avenue Q in June 2023 after officials approved over $1.15 million for a host of street renovations, including replacing water and wastewater lines, adding curbs for storm drainage, installing sidewalks, and laying new pavement.
“It needed to get done,” Rhodes said.
Unforeseen issues, specifically evidence of an old gas leak, slowed things down, he said.
“The only significant delay was early on,” he said. “They found what appeared to potentially be a gasoline leak. At the end of the day, it was explained that there was probably a gas leak at one time. That took several weeks because we had to get the state involved and the (Environmental Protection Agency) to make sure. You’d hate to not make sure and then seal it all back up and tear it all back out.”