FARMINGTON — A new McDonald's restaurant on the west side of Farmington is expected to open by the end of May, its operators say.
"There's a whole population that is underserved and needs our food over there," said Celia Bronson, who owns and operates the restaurant with her husband, John.
She said the new eatery will be the third McDonald's in Farmington, but the first on the west side of town.
Construction on the building, located at 1608 W. Main St., started in March. The restaurant will have a double drive-thru, modern decor and computer games for children, Celia Bronson said.
When the restaurant opens, Celia Bronson said she expects to hire about 70 new workers to staff the 5,400-square-foot restaurant.
She expects half of the workers will be full-time employees. She is currently seeking applications to fill the positions. She said since construction started, she has received about 35 applications.
"That's definitely good," said Ray Hagerman, CEO of Four Corners Economic Development, of the new jobs.
Hagerman said the western side of Farmington is expanding and businesses are looking to build on that side of the city.
"I think you're going to see more and more of that," he said. "(You're) going to see more retail stores and restaurants that are going to start opening up in the western end of Farmington."
According to the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, traffic counts on West Main Street have increased from 2012 to 2013.
West Main Street is also U.S. Highway 64 on the western side of the city. The roads split at Broadway Avenue.
Though the daily traffic count didn't contain data from the same street corridor, in October 2012, about 18,000 vehicles drove on U.S. Highway 64 between Murray Drive and West Main Street.
About 25,000 vehicles drove on a nearby stretch, West Main Street between N.M. Highway 170 and Murray Drive, during a 48-hour traffic count taken in October 2013, according to the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Hagerman said the number of residential buildings are also increasing on the western side of Farmington.
Celia Bronson said she is excited about the new restaurant.
"It's an exciting event. We're all really excited," she said.
To apply for a position at Farmington's new McDonald's restaurant, go to mcnewmexico.com/37117 .