New Businesses Expected to Increase Lawrence Road Traffic

- It's the holiday shopping season, which means traffic around popular stores is hectic. Wichita Falls traffic officials are already working to make things flow smoothly along a very busy road that's a magnet for shoppers.

Lawrence Road is one of the spots for shopping because numerous businesses are located on or near this road.

And now that more businesses are set to open soon, city traffic officials are monitoring this area to keep driving from becoming a nightmare.

Lawrence Road is a shoppers dream come true. Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to driving on this road.

And later this week, the opening of a new business is expected to make Lawrence Road congestion even worse. But construction is far from over here.

Soon, Wasabi Sushi & Hibachi Steakhouse will open on Call Field Road.

And in March a 6,000 square foot Super Braums is expected to open next to Mazzio's Italian Eatery. In June, U.S. Cellular will open next to Natural Grocers.

And a local commercial realtor says business is continuing to boom behind Natural Grocers.

"Sixteen to 20,000 square foot building.  It will be an inline shopping center and we have a couple of restaurants that are gonna sign up.  Can't give you any names yet," says Bobby Schaaf of Schaaf & Clark, Inc.

While names are not being released, city officials realize added business to this area will cause even more traffic congestion. That's why they're already working to make things better.

Two weeks ago crews installed a double turning lane for drivers on Lawrence Road who are headed west on Kell Boulevard. City crews are also monitoring traffic lights here.

"We do make changes in the signal timing when needed.  We'll be monitoring that when those businesses open up and make any adjustments that are needed to be made," says Mark Beauchamp, traffic superintendent for the city of Wichita Falls.

Beauchamp also urges drivers to make a necessary personal adjustment.

"Be patient.  Be calm and drive courteously. Be expecting a little bit of a delay through the rush hours and through all the peak traffic times and just be patient with people," Beauchamp adds.

Drivers started exercising patience last week when shoppers got out in full force on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday. And this Thursday, it's safe to say patience could be tested again once drivers flock to the grand opening of Natural Grocers.

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