The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

November 14, 2012

Business activity continues despite bridge closure

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Downtown merchants say the closure of the Main Street Bridge Thursday in Albion has impacted their businesses, but most said they are happy to see the necessary repairs to the lift bridge progressing quickly.

The bridge was closed to traffic Thursday after a safety review revealed deficiencies in 16 of the beams supporting the cross-canal bridge deck. Crews from the New York State Department of Transportation worked from a barge positioned underneath the lift bridge Tuesday, making repairs that began over the Veterans Day weekend and continued through the holiday.

At the Golden Gourd Bistro, Louisa Shiffer said business had slowed after the bridge closure brought out road-blocking signage on both ends of the block.

”A lot of the businesses get people who are going downtown to shop, but people don’t want to go through construction,” Shiffer said at the Main Street restaurant. “It cut people out from coming here.”

Most businesses along Main and Bank streets reported that their regular customers are still coming out, but the normal flow of out-of-town shoppers has been slow in coming downtown while the lift bridge receives repairs.

“We have our loyal group of customers coming in,” Gary Withey of Fischer’s Newsroom said. “We have a great group of customers. We’ll be okay as long as it not a long closure.”

Fred Miller, who watched surprised semi drivers stop dead in their tracks at the detour from his True Value Family Hardware store, said he remembers the “devastating” effect of the last significant bridge closure, which last for more than a year in the mid-1980s.

“The road becomes a dead end,” said Miller, who noted the side door — where his everyday customers come in — has been busy, but the front door — where those stumbling in to find a special part arrive — has been quiet.

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