Business Owners and Workers are Worried about Temporary Bridge Closing

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

WAYNESBORO -- Even though the Broad Street bridge has been slated to get repaired for nearly two years, very little movement had happened, but that changes on Feb. 13th when the project will finally move forward. That means the bridge will be closed for at least seven months.

“I'm just thankful there's another bridge. It'll be inconvenient a little bit for people. The Wayne Theater is also going to have interior work done which will block part of Main Street. It will be a little bit of a maze getting through downtown,” said Pete McCoy, the owner of McCoy's Furniture, a business on Broad Street.

McCoy's Furniture has been located just off the bridge since 1962.

The repairs are going to close off easy access to its loading docks and have equipment left in its parking lot.

Anyone coming from the west to visit the store is going to have to go the long way to get there.

“We're going to have banners up, signs in the window, to assure people that we are still in operation. If they'll go through the trouble to come see us, we'll save them serious money.”

Another business, right next door to McCoy's, is not as easy to visit with the blocked bridge.

Weasie's Kitchen has been open since 1985 and the Broad Street bridge is a main route for many of its customers. Employees don't think the restaurant will go out of business, but they've already had some customers say they're making new plans for their lunch hour.

“We've entered our slow months. We're usually slow until April. They've been talking about the bridge for some time and we've been really worried about it because we really feel like it's going to impact our business a lot,” said Wendy Crabtree, a server at Weasie's Kitchen.

An estimated 10,000 cars cross the Broad Street bridge every day. They will be rerouted to the Main Street bridge and signs will be installed on Friday to help redirect traffic.

The people who walk the bridge don't want extra time added to their trip, especially in the cold,.

“I walk to the rec. It's going to be hard for me because I'm going to have to go all the way around and I don't like going that way. This way is quicker. I ain't with it, but I don't have a choice,” said Shaquan Wilson, who walks on the bridge three times a week.

The Broad Street bridge repairs have a completion date of Sept 24th. Workers with the Virginia Department of Transportation will begin repairing the Main Street bridge soon afterward. There is no completion date set for that project.


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