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Bellaire Boulevard Construction Will Yield Benefits for Business Owners

Roadway construction from Beltway 8 to Mary Bates is expected to last 18 to 24 months and affect as many as 1,000 businesses.

Improvements to alleviate that congestion and make the turnarounds safer are already underway, prompting questions. Some area business owners have expressed concern over the loss of business, so the Asian American Business Council has identified potential problems and offered some suggestions. Council members have pledged to work with the Southwest Houston Redevelopment Authority and the general contractor to make the construction period a smooth one with limited inconvenience to motorists and owners of property and businesses.

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One of the main concerns is that the construction will hamper business further while the economy is still slow, with detours and blocked entrances making shopping and dining inconvenient for patrons. Air and noise pollution and littering were other concerns vocalized, as well as traffic congestion, loss of utility service, drainage problems, and safety issues for pedestrians and construction workers.

This section of Bellaire that serves Chinatown currently experiences the most congestion between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The three most congested intersections are at Bellaire and Ranchester, Corporate, and Beltway 8, and the turnaround areas causing the most frequent accidents are in front of Diho Square the 9100 block, in front of Golden Bank in the 9300 block, and in front of Dun Huang and Sterling Plaza in the 9800 blocks.

Some of the suggestions proposed by the AABC included providing an accurate construction schedule in advance, doing the work a section at a time, and limiting or curtailing work during busy lunch and weekend hours. They also suggested coordinating alternative routes and business access points, providing temporary markings for business access and to denote detour routes.

It was also suggested that a bilingual coordinator should be hired to work with business and property owners, since communication is a vital factor. Businesses should be notified properly in advance of any construction work that might affect them directly, with notices posted on social media sites, traditional print and broadcast media, and via e-mail. Helping businesses generate more exposure through advertising was another suggestion, as well as securing additional traffic patrol officers.