Bay City bridge construction could have impact on businesses - WNEM TV 5

Bay City bridge construction could have impact on businesses

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A major construction project may still be a ways down the road, but its impact will last for years.

Aaron Oberson, co-owner of Aaron's Barber Shop in Bay City, said he knows a detour around the Lafayette Bridge will really pack a punch against his business, which relies on the heavily trafficked road to attract customers.

"Not only will it affect business, but I think it'll affect my personal life. I live across the bridge so just getting to the shop will be harder," Oberson said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has determined the bridge on M-84/M-13 needs to be torn down and replaced. It's a $45 million project set to begin in 2020. The project will take two years to complete.

"There's no good time to do the bridge so we may as well get it done sooner than later," said Jeff Mitchell, manager at Gillroy's Hardware.

He said two years ago when a similar project took place, his business had a 40 percent drop in sales. The new closure could be even worse.

"We get a lot of traffic from the other side of the river. That's kind of the main way to the south end," Mitchell said.

MDOT said they know the impact the detour will have during the construction. On Wednesday they hosted a meeting with residents to make the project a little more painless.

"To receive any comments or concerns the business owners may have, the residents or anyone who wants to express any concerns," said Jack Hofwebber, with Bay City Transportation.

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