Keller pet clinic worries construction might hurt business




Posted on December 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 4:04 AM

Alta Vista Animal Hospital

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KELLER — Closed roads and orange barrels are some of the obstacles drivers navigate daily to get to the Alta Vista Animal Hospital on Golden Triangle Boulevard in Keller.

“This construction has left us with many surprises and a little bit of danger if you are not watching,” said clinic client Beverly Morgan.

The surprise, they found Tuesday, is permanent.

Alta Vista noticed the raised curb median in front of the business. It left all of the vet’s clients heading west with no way to turn in to the hospital.

“There should be a drive-through right here, and there isn't any more,” Morgan said.

The pet clinic was the first business to open its doors on Golden Triangle Boulevard 32 years ago. Dr. Stephanie Hutchison, the owner, said the lack of a turning lane will be a challenge for some customers.

“If they are coming from Keller, they are going to have to do a U-turn to turn around and get back to us," she said. "In a horse trailer, that's not an easy task."

The turning lanes along the boulevard are also fueling Hutchison’s frustrations. Some of them turn to nowhere.

“Pretty frustrating for us, because as long as we have been here, we did not get granted [a turn lane] — but empty pastures for potential development got one,” she said.

The Texas Department of Transportation tells News 8 the raised curb median on the new four-lane road was added to improve traffic flow and safety. The agency pointed to studies done by the Texas Transportation Institute which found that raised curb medians have reduced head-on crashes and that the feature should not impact business.

Hutchison told News 8 a turning lane into her business was never in the plans. She now worries her clients will make other plans for care.

“Traffic is going to increase once this road is done, but the convenience to get to me is not there,” Hutchison lamented. “It will hurt my business.”

This 3.4-mile project from Interstate 35W to US 377 began in October, 2010. The $19 million project will build a four-lane divided roadway with raised, grass medians. It is set to be completed early next year.