Sunshine and a break from winter’s intermittent biting temperatures brought construction workers to job sites Wednesday.

Workers are making significant progress on a new facility across from McDonald’s in the Hammond Square area. The building will house Lit Pizza and a T-Mobile store, according to word from Hammond City Hall.

T-Mobile currently is located at 1720 W. Thomas St. in Channell Shopping Center.

Based in Baton Rouge, Lit Pizza also has restaurants in Gonzales, Zachary, Brusly, Lake Charles, Denham Springs and Covington.

Chick-fil-A headquarters does not yet include its newest Hammond site in the company’s list of “opening soon” locations, but appearances suggest the opening date will be soon. The restaurant is on US 190 West next to Waffle House and across from Best Western Inn.

Fallen trees have been cleared from the ravine alongside CM Fagan Drive across from Spoga fitness center, and it appears that a road is being made there on the west side of the canal across from The Villas Apartments.

In Ponchatoula, on US 51 just south of the Popeye’s restaurant, dirt work was underway Wednesday for the much-anticipated PJs coffee shop. Franchise owner Donna Miller had hoped to get the shop built and open long before now, but plans were delayed by the pandemic and the supply chain difficulties.

This location will be her fourth franchise location. She also owns PJ franchises on University Avenue, Thomas Street and inside North Oaks Hospital, all in Hammond.

While Miller has owned and operated PJs franchise locations for 17 years, she has owned the land for the Ponchatoula site around 27 years.

Just a few blocks up the street near the Ponchatoula Walmart store, dirt work was underway Wednesday for Checkers and Rally’s hamburgers drive-in restaurant. The store is being built just north of the Murphy’s gas station on US 51.

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Checkers and Rally’s is a chain of double drive-thru restaurants operating in 28 states. Covington is its other location on the Northshore, and stores are located in Baton Rouge, Central and on the Southshore.

According to Ponchatoula Building Official Chris Winburn, businessman Bob Gabriel is building the structure going up at the former site of Michael Canal and Sons equipment store on Hwy. 22 next door to Gabriel’s Building Supply.

Gabriel had sought to create an access road from the apartments he owns behind the property to Hwy. 22, but the state nixed those plans due to its policy limiting the number of access roads from a property to a state highway.

Gabriel bought the Michael Canal property in order to use the existing access road there, Winburn said. Now he is building a structure there that will be for rent. The existing entrance road will serve as an access for both the rental facility and the apartments.

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