Business spikes after I-10 closure

BRAWLEY, Calif. – Cal Trans partially reopened Intestate-10 today at noon. However, with only one lane open in each direction travelers will continue to use alternate routes to avoid traffic jams. Main Street Brawley has been busier since I-10 closed earlier this week due to storms that caused a bridge to collapse near Desert Center. Travelers have been forced to find different routes to their destinations, translating to extra dollars for cities on those routes.

“Since it’s mostly passing through traffic it’s going to be the gas stations, the convenience stores, in some cases hotels, restaurants, mostly the retail type businesses where somebody stopping through town can just stop in and spend some dollars locally.” said Chamber of Commerce CEO Jason Zara.

A couple of employees at a local gas station say their busy days are usually Friday and Saturday, but this week it’s been non-stop.

“People passing by going to Phoenix, Texas, going through the I-10 asking for directions, just gassing up, buying snacks.” said Jael Ramirez, who works at a local gas station.

So you may be wondering why Brawley? That’s because both detours, SR-78 and SR-86 lead right into the heart of town.

“It’s been a while without using the next register but now that it’s getting a little bit busy, so we have to use both.” said Adriana Buenrostro who is a cashier at a business in Brawley.

For now Cal Trans hasn’t announced when crews will completely repair and reopen I-10, meanwhile businesses in Brawley are benefiting from all the traffic.

“More hours, more revenue, keeps the bosses happy.” said Ramirez.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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