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Ongoing construction at the intersection of Lantrip Street and U.S. Hwy. 259 for the installation of a new Dairy Queen restaurant may not be completed for some time, even as many Kilgoreites begin to wonder when they can stop by the famous burger-and-ice-cream joint for a meal.

“Construction was delayed until they came out with a new store design,” Kilgore Mayor Ronnie Spradlin said by email Monday.

However, the delay will come with a new benefit, he added. The newly-designed store will be a first for the Lone Star State.

“Ours will be the first of the new look in Texas.”

Work began at the planned site of the new casual eatery late last summer and has continued, slowly but steadily, often delayed by heavy rains.

The total project cost of developing the site will run between $330,000 and $350,000, including the road reconstruction to pave the way for the new franchise. The project has already involved removing one home and re-platting the residentially-zoned site for business use.

Last summer, Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck discussed the extent of the construction project, noting there were two main issues to fix at the intersection: the road grade and the delay at the traffic light.

Adding about 18 inches of fill to the roadway will have a substantial impact, Selleck said at the time, and that roadwork will be in conjunction with the restaurant’s development for a broader benefit.

“We’ve been able to create a straight-and-left lane” as well as a right-turn-only lane, Selleck noted at the time, also mentioning the project’s widening of Lantrip Street.

Despite the extensive work being paid for by the city, the project developers heading up the work at the site will reimburse the city for part of the project’s costs.

“We believe that there’s a substantial savings,” Selleck said last September, when the developer reimburses the city between 15 and 20 percent of the costs.

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