Bridge reopens in New Hope

June 12, 2009 4:05:47 PM PDT
They're celebrating in New Hope with the reopening of the Canal Bridge.There were eight months of detours while PennDOT repaired what's known as the Canal Bridge.

The 67-year-old steel bridge spanning the Delaware Canal had been deemed deficient.

During construction, one lane was sealed off with barrels and cones.

Signs directed drivers away from Bridge Street on a 2-1/2 mile detour. Business owners say the detour confused and ushered customers away.

Gallery Owner Walter Czajkowski struggled to stay afloat.

"It was one of these things where asking friends and family can we borrow money to pay the rent and everything else. It really became total economic hardship for many of the businesses," Czajkowski said.

For rent, sale and closed signs pepper a half-dozen businesses that folded or fled.

Things have picked up since Howard Kurs moved his Lazer Illusions novelty shop to Main Street when business at his Bridge Street location in the construction zone dropped 70%. He's glad construction is over.

"I think I can eventually recover, but it's a big blow," Kurs said.

"We invite everybody to come see us for the weekend. We're all thrilled to be back," shop owner Loretta Johnson said.

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