Businesses relieved Brown Ave. bridge will reopen for traffic

Businesses relieved Brown Ave. bridge will reopen for traffic

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Brown Avenue bridge in Columbus is complete following a two-year-old construction project, but how has the closing of the bridge affected businesses and drivers in the area?

When the bridge closed for repairs, drivers were forced to find other routes and stores in the area saw fewer customers.

There is a huge transformation concerning the Brown Avenue bridge as traffic will begin flowing in the area on Monday.

"Traffic flow is what we need, we know the effect on this business is going to be good. That's what the customers are saying too," said Shehada Khatib of Beauty Queen.

Businesses like Beauty Queen that are next to the bridge say parts of Brown Avenue was once busy with customers, but saw less and less when construction started March 15, 2013.

"Cause it's less traffic and the customers had a long way to come over here. So they started going somewhere else," said Khatib.

The 65 year-old bridge was in dire need of repairs, previous weight restrictions made it difficult for anything other than pedestrians and cars to use the bridge.

The newly repaired bridge cost about $8.4 million and the new bridge will able be able to hold more weight for all types of vehicles.

"Yeah because trucks was able to go through this area, So now it's going to be better for all this area," Khatib said.

Drivers who frequent the area business are happy they don't have to take the long way around anymore.

"It will save gas, I can get here quicker and easier. I think it's a little narrow than it was but its safer, we know that its not about to fall in," said Zyniya Dunton.

The bridge now has redeveloped two-lanes with sidewalks.

The completion of the bridge is ahead of schedule, According the the Columbus Planning Department, the project wasn't expected to be finished until May.

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