Elton Hills bridge construction coming soon

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(ABC 6 News) – The clock is ticking for local businesses on Elton Hills Drive in Rochester. Construction begins Monday on the bridge over the Zumbro River on Elton Hills Drive Northwest cutting off access to businesses.

"In 2018 there were routine inspections of the bridge that identified some structural issues and the decision was made that it would be best to reconstruct the entire bridge," Megan Moeller, the communications coordinator for the City of Rochester, said.

Moeller said it’s an aging bridge and we need a better one.

The price tag for the new bridge is over $5 million. The city said that money is coming from the federal government.

Construction begins on Monday, Oct. 11, and lasts until next July.

Traffic will be sent south to cross the river at 13th St, and pedestrians will be sent north to the pedestrian bridge on the Zumbro North Trail.

Much like we have seen with the North Broadway construction this summer, there will be signage rerouting drivers.

One local business owner said he can’t compare this to the Broadway construction.

"I think it’s going to be a lot worse," Dennis Wong, the owner of Dunn Bros. and The Blue Plate Diner, said.

Wong said this construction will no doubt impact business.

"You know marketing and communication. That’s all we can do," Wong said.

He said this detour is substantial which will likely make people think twice before popping in for a cup of coffee.

Wong said the city has been as helpful as it can and business owners in the area are joining together to lessen the blow.

"The neighborhood is also trying to organize to let people know that when they come up here they can do multiple stops to make it more convenient," Wong said.

Business owners want you to know you can grab a coffee, stop by the bank and pop into the pharmacy all in that one neighborhood. They hope making multiple stops will not only help them but will help make your trip worth that extra bit of driving.