EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD)–Utility work is ongoing to prepare for an Arkansas Department of Transportation project that will transform Hillsboro Street where many local businesses and residential homes can be found.

The project has been a key point of conversation over the past few years and now, construction progress is underway. Many residents expressed concern about the project, saying that it is doing more harm than good.

The project calls for a widening of the highway; two roundabouts at College and West avenues; a new viaduct to be built just north of the existing Hillsboro viaduct; a new bridge between Park and Rock Island Right-Of-Way; and landscaped medians.

With numerous changes to the street in the project, many businesses are closing down permanently or moving to locations outside of the construction zone.

Betty’s Old Fashion is the oldest dairy bar in Arkansas but due to the construction project, they are having to close down on March 31st.

Owner, Betty Schaub, says it’s a bittersweet moment and her customers mean so much.

“They looked after me and I took care of them when they needed it. But that’s what I’ll miss most is my customers… They’re just like family to me,” explains Schaub.

Hillsboro Street will remain open during construction but residents should be alert and expect traffic delays.