Memorial Drive bridge reopens after months of construction

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This bridge opened several weeks behind schedule -- and the construction was a big headache for commuters -- but the newly opened bridge benefits drivers and businesses alike.

It's a project that's taken months to complete, but as of Saturday morning, a bridge on Memorial Dr. is back open to traffic. The reopened road is just east of Gessner in the city of Bunker Hill Village.

This bridge opened several weeks behind schedule, and the construction was a big headache for commuters and people who live nearby, but the newly opened bridge helps not just drivers, but business owners too.

"It's huge. We called it 'Bridgezilla.' It was a big deal," Greta Landwermeyer explained.

Several months of construction meant an inconvenience for thousands of drivers, but also customers changing their spending habits.

"I couldn't come in this direction. We always picked restaurants in the other direction," Tanju Obut explained. "All our business basically shifted from this end of town to the other side."

Obut usually would visit his favorite restaurant once a week, but detours during construction kept him from dining there that frequently.

"They build bridges a lot bigger than this a lot quicker than five or six months, you know it just doesn't make any sense."

Local businesses say the detours meant delays in pickups and deliveries and the Vine Wine Room owner noticed a small seven percent dip in its bottom line.

"Yeah, we took a little hit. It hurt a little bit, but in the long run it's a good thing for everybody, I think," owner Joe Rippey said. He sees the new bridge as part of a more walkable community, and now that it's open, he's hearing fewer complaints from customers.

"If you're a wine guy or a bartender or you're a hair dresser, you hear everything about everything from everybody. So I have to say yes, I heard it all," he said with a smile.

More traffic through the bridge means more foot traffic through their doors and a boost to their bottom lines.
Related Topics:
trafficnewsbridgeconstructionBunker Hill Village
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