Will closure of a Spencerport bridge impact local business?

Posted at: 02/02/2013 6:39 PM
Updated at: 02/02/2013 11:16 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

If you plan to travel through Spencerport within the next month you will be forced to take a detour as a popular bridge is set to temporarily shut down.

The lift bridge on Route 259 will be closed on weekends until early March for much needed repairs.

The bridge goes right over the canal in Spencerport.

News10NBC wanted to know if the closure was going to impact businesses in the area and what detours were going to be posted.

Even though it's not the first time the bridge has shut down for repairs, local business owners are prepping for the worst, but also expecting the best.

The New York State Department of Transportation made the announcement earlier this week. The bridge will close Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. through Sunday evenings at 6 p.m.  A 7-ton restriction is posted until bridge repairs are completed.

It's considered a fairly busy bridge, located right in the heart of the village and brings many to the area.

So what does this mean for business owners now that the bridge will be closed on weekends for more than a month?

“We live and die in a sense by that bridge, because that's what brings the traffic, especially from the north,” said John McGrath, owner of J. William Jewelers.

J. William Jewelers is less than a block away from the bridge. McGrath says he's concerned about the closure, but knows it could be much worse.

“At least the weekday traffic can go through, as an alternative to closing it for a whole month at a time or a month and a half or two months,” he said.

The decision to close the bridge for five consecutive weekends came after a recent inspection. The goal is to repair the deteriorating structural steel components.

Since the structure will be partially lifted, the sidewalk will also be closed to pedestrians.
“It has goods, pros and cons. It eliminates some of the traffic, but it does slow down some of the traffic that is coming through,” said McGrath.

McGrath says the bridge has closed down before within the last ten years. He's hoping the new construction schedule will be smooth for business this time around.

“We've seen some changes in the village and there's a lot of great things happening in the village and we realize it's a hundred year-old bridge and it's going to need work,” said McGrath.

If you are traveling through the area over the weekend you will be forced to detour to Route 31 to Sweden Walker Road, then to Route 104.

A temporary traffic light will be placed over the Martha Street Bridge. It is a single lane bridge, but many locals say it's the best way to get into the village.

The bridge was not closed Saturday morning as expected, which may add a small delay to the completion. Officials say the schedule will depend on favorable weather conditions.