WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. (WKBN) – People in West Middlesex will be celebrating their new viaduct this weekend with three days of events.
The Shenango River viaduct was closed for seven months last year. During that time, businesses in West Middlesex took a large hit.
“A lot of my customers are from Ohio, and they couldn’t get down the viaduct to get here so they didn’t know and once they go to a different place, it’s hard to bring them back,” said Ron Dubranksy from the Golden Bear Tavern.
Dubransky will be one of the people celebrating the bridge this weekend. Even though it reopened in November, he said the Golden Bear Tavern is just now getting back to normal.
On the other side of the viaduct, it’s easier for people to get to Palumbo’s Meat Market.
“You had people just on the other side of the bridge who were daily customers and they had to go all the way around, so what they would do is stock up for three days, four days, whatever, and they would tell us that, ‘I”ll be back in three days,”‘ said Debbie Palumbo.
The old bridge had a lot of history, standing for more than 75 years.
While the bridge was closed, it had an enormous impact on people’s lives. It’s hard to overstate just how happy they are that it is finally reopened.
There is even a special coffee blend named after this event. O’Neill Coffee Company came out with the blend, calling it “No More Detour.”
“We came out with it right when the bridge reopened, and then we brought it back for the commemoration,” said Jonathon Walsh from O’Neill Coffee Company.
The coffee company went through a permanent change due to the bridge. They expanded into their new retail store when they learned that their entrances would be blocked by bridge work.
“It’s worked out tremendously well. We’ve been a lot busier, we added a lot of new things,” Walsh said.
The “Cross Over the Shenango” event will run in downtown West Middlesex from Friday through Sunday.
Activities on Friday start at 6:30 p.m. with a parade and music performances.
On Saturday, there will be another parade starting at 1 p.m. There will also be games, vendors and entertainment.
There will be a community picnic on Sunday at 1 p.m.