Independence Bridge closed through March for maintenance - WNEM TV 5

Independence Bridge closed through March for maintenance

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Bay City residents are in for a big change for their commute.

On Monday, Jan. 8 the Independence Bridge shut down for maintenance and the project is expected to last a few months.

Crews will be making about $1.45 million worth of upgrades to the bridge.

It’s expected to last through the end of March.

Traffic will be detoured across Liberty Bridge using Woodside and Marquette.

Becky Blue, general manager of Cops and Doughnuts in Bay City, is expecting business to pick up soon due to the construction.

"The traffic that would get here from the Independence Bridge would be effected a little bit, but everyone who lives in Bay City knows all the other bridges they can get across. Yes, it'll be a little congested, but if you want a doughnut, you'll go over the right bridge to get here," Blue said.

Blue is hoping detoured drivers bring their hungry stomachs right to her front door.

The businesses on Midland Street could get a whole lot busier since the bridge closed, but the people at Cops and Doughnuts said there is a holiday that will keep them even busier - Fat Tuesday.

"The only thing we've got to start prepping for is paczki day obviously. So we're actually prepping for that," Blue said.

Blue said she trusts the people of Bay City will handle the detours just fine and if they don't, she has sweet treats for them at the end of the bridge.

"If you're in Bay City you've got three other bridges you can go over and if you need a doughnut, you know where to find us," Blue said.

Other business owners are concerned the detours could have a negative impact on their bottom line.

"It's probably gonna give us a little less business," said Matt Mayse, with 1 Up Games.

The bridge brings traffic to companies along Wilder Road and those could be customers will be re-routed with the bridge closed.

"That can be kind of a pain and everything," Mayse said.

On the east side of the river, mom and pop shops along Johnson Street fear what could happen with less traffic around.

"You always worry about things like that," said Kim Coonan, owner of Coonan's Irish Hub.

It's a hear, but Coonan won't let it hinder his hub. He thinks his business can hang in there over the next three months.

Cheryl Gellise, with the Nail Nook, is more concerned clients might be late from the detours.

"I do think people do have to go around and out of their way a little bit. And I'm pretty sure that traffic will be backed up at certain times of the day," Gellise said.

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