Elton Hills Drive Bridge set to open this week

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(ABC 6 News) – The Elton Hills Drive Bridge remains closed to the public.

Several businesses have experienced slower traffic than usual and seeing fewer bikers and pedestrians stop by.

Since October 2021, when construction began, the city of Rochester funded this multi-million dollar project to address repairs and safety measures. It will now feature two lanes on each side and foot traffic pathways.

As a result, this had consequences for store owners on both sides of the bridge.

Owner of Med City Coin and Bullion Mike Demarino explained how the closure has impacted business.

"Well, I know that a lot of people have not come in because of it. They have told me I’ll come in whenever later. So, I know that they will come in once it’s easier because the simplest little distraction of people is- ah I’ll do it later." Demarino said.

Dennis Wong, the co-owner of Dunn Brothers Coffee and Blue Plate Diner, mentioned what he is looking forward to after the bridge is complete.

"We’re hoping to return to the pre-pandemic levels. Things slowed down with the pandemic and then it continued with the bridge closure. So, we’re hoping that we’ll have an increase, and extended store hours, and bring back a lot of our staff," Wong said.

Looking down the strip from Wong’s business, retail spaces are being leased out or temporarily closed for business as the construction has cut off access for months on end.

Community members hope to see the new bridge open soon after a long wait to cut the commute.