Business Owner Says Bridge Repair Project Will Hurt Business

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

WAYNESBORO, Va -- Five years ago, Deborah Smith's store was busy with customers.

“I mean the first day we opened, we were able to sell so business was great,” said Deborah.

She is the owner of a thrift store called Second Avenue and she said she is having trouble selling her items.

"Business has been slow and that's due to the economy and also there's a surge of more thrift stores in the area."

She said she recently found out a bridge on East Broad St is closing. She saw a commercial on television from McCoy Furniture talking about an inventory sell-off.

“It was a shock to us that the bridge was closing.”

The City of Waynesboro Project Manager Bert Smith said he has been in contact with businesses around that area about the project, but Deborah said city officials never approached her.

The $2-million project will replace the deck and the railing and they will also work on the piers. The project manager said traffic will be interrupted but they plan to direct traffic to businesses, like Second Avenue.

“We are gonna get people there,” said Bert. “We are gonna get the detour signs up with the wave binding signs coming either from the east or the west."

Deborah said she is not very optimistic.

"We know once that bridge closes that will be the end of most of our customer base," said Deborah.

She said most of her business come from people from out of town, but with her business struggling, she does not think they will be able to make it without the sales they have now.

“Our goal right now is just liquidation. Just to get it all out. We want to sell it to one buyer. We wanna sell it to any buyer."

City leaders said they will start the bids for the project on Nov 4th and they plan to start construction in January.

The project is expected to take eight months.

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