Highway 603 Work Helping Out Area's Economy

Jack Andry Auto parts and repair shop is one of the newest businesses to open on Highway 603. Andry expanded the business and moved it from Highway 90 six months ago.

"We're really happy with the whole situation out here," Andry said.  "At first we were a little concerned because we were on Highway 90, and we thought we might be losing something by coming out here but it's seems that we've done nothing but gain work and an extra customer base."

Several others businesses have popped up over the past few months.  Building Officials say several more are on the way, including a lawn and garden center, and an office complex here.

"It appears 603 is becoming just a booming area," business owner Carleen Moran said.  "In 1994 there were about 112 employees who were actually employed in that area.  Now there are about 357."

Moran says one of the main reasons for the growth is centralized sewer and water lines have been extended to the area.

"It's also an area where you have the acres available and property available that is reasonably priced. People are starting to realize that is the corridor that is developing and property is escalating in value," Moran said.

"On Highway 90 we were limited as to how big of a shop we could build because we only had so much property," Andry said.  "Out here it gave us the availability to expand, just like right now.  We've over doubled the shop's size. And we're thinking about increasing it another third in the upcoming year."

Chamber leaders say development on Highway 603 has been great for the county's tax base and employment picture.  The chamber has also received a grant to beutify the medians and entrances to the highway.