NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) – The temporary closure of a bridge in Newton Falls is causing a lot of inconvenience for drivers and businesses, who are counting down the days before things return to normal.
The detour is Interstate 76 to State Route 225 to State Route 5.
“We’ve had trucks who were super confused, couldn’t deliver. So we had to wait a week or two until they figured it out,” said Nadia Suzelis.
Suzelis manages Healthy Treasures on Broad Street. She says the detour not only affected her truck deliveries, but also her sales because of the lack of cars passing by.
“Where the bridge is, it kind of splits the town in half. You can come from 534 but with the detour, you have to go all the way around. So we’ve definitely seen a decrease,” she said.
At Chic Salon on Broad Street, employees have noticed customers pushing back appointments.
The 534 bridge closure is also making other bridges in town busier.
“They have to go over to the bridge and because it’s a one-lane bridge now, the traffic builds up really quick,” said Jocelyn Suzelis, a Chic Salon employee.
City manager David Lynch acknowledges the inconvenience, but says the project will actually lead to more business when completed.
“Not only is the road repaired, but the bridge has been re-built. In fact, the bridge opens Sept. 20. Once that happens, the flood gates of traffic open up again,” he said.
The downtown businesses are eager for the new look and efficiency the bridge will provide. They’re hoping when it opens back up, they can make up for lost sales this summer.