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Watonga Cheese Factory frustrated with construction, as sales have dropped

Perryton Watonga Cheese Factory frustrated with construction, as they say sales have dropped. (ABC 7 Amarillo- Jala Washington).

Doors are working, and Perryton's Watonga Cheese Factory is open for business. Yet, Co-Owner, Brandi Cowan says it's been close to 25 weeks of their store being practically empty, with little to no business.

When they blocked us off and told us two days, [and] we're like 'OK, we can handle that.' Then they came in and told us it would be a few weeks, and I'm like 'OK, we can handle that.' After the first month, we realized that they weren't even close to finishing," Cowan said.

As of last night, Cowan says their main entrance off of Highway 83 is now open. However, up to this point, she says customers had to enter through a back alley.

"It's devastating, and it's completely out of our control," Cowan said. "there was nothing we could do about it."

Cowan says there were also times that construction was postponed for a couple of days, and wishes their main entrance would have been temporarily unblocked during that time. But TxDOT tells ABC 7, they typically don't do that, as it would cost more money and time.

"If they had started on the other side of main street, where no businesses were affected and got all the kinks worked out, and then moved to our side, maybe things would have gone faster and smoother," Cowan said.

TxDOT says they've worked to communicate construction schedules with area business owners at all times. Still, other businesses along the Highway 83 strip are frustrated too.

Manager Kelley Gleason of Imo's Country Store says their sales have dropped at least 50 percent.

"In everything, fuel, grocery, deli," Gleason said. "I don't know how we're going to come back from it, honestly."

Now that more driveways off the main road are open, businesses are hoping things pick back up.

"We're looking forward to a busy Christmas, and I hope we'll be OK," Cowan said.

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