EL PASO, Texas - Where's Whataburger?
Due to a Texas Department of Transportation project, some in Socorro have had to say goodbye to a popular food chain restaurant.
The Alameda and Horizon Boulevard intersection is being reconstructed. It's all part of a plan to widen Horizon Boulevard from two lanes to four lanes. But one of the casualties is one of the oldest Whataburgers in the El Paso area and it's not coming back.
However, it will soon be a lot easier to negotiate that intersection.
"People came and were asking me, "Do you know what happened to the Whataburger?'" said JoAna Pulgaran, an employee at the nearby Little Caesar's.
The Texas fast food staple disappeared from the Socorro intersection over the Fourth of July, prompting customers at the Little Caesar's next door to ask a lot of questions.
"Maybe it's going to move?" Pulgaran said. "Everybody misses the Whataburger. A lot of people want Whataburger."
Whataburger officials said TxDOT is expanding the roadway and intersection directly adjacent to the restaurant and in order to complete the work:
"They are taking a portion of our property. This change created conditions that require us to close the business and we do not have plans to reopen another Whataburger to replace this location at this time."
Socorro resident Liz Lopez said she drives through the intersection daily.
"It's a very dangerous turn," Lopez said. "We've seen accidents on this corner."
An employee at the nearby AutoZone told ABC-7 that trucks have a hard time taking the corner at Horizon Boulevard and Alameda, leading them to drive through the AutoZone parking lot. ABC-7's Darren Hunt spotted several trucks doing just that.
"I've done that myself," Lopez said.
Whataburger officials said they are "actively exploring other locations in the area" and employees are being "given an opportunity to relocate to a nearby Whataburger restaurant."
TxDOT officials said the project is expected to take less than 10 months to complete.