Local business weary that continued bridge closures may hinder foot traffic

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — The Centerville Turnpike Bridge remains closed to drivers on Sunday after a barge hit it early Saturday morning, forcing it to be stuck in the open position.

The Coast Guard has been investigating the collision with no estimated time of when the area will reopen.

Learning the bridge was once again closed to vehicle traffic, some businesses are now worried they may lose traffic of their own if the problem is not resolved quickly.

“Oh my gosh not again!”

That was Caitlin Hamilton’s reaction when she learned the Chesapeake Turnpike bridge was closed off to traffic.

She works at Los Primos Mexican Grille and is worried her paycheck will suffer.

“For example Sundays, we normally have a pretty good after church rush, but this Sunday wasn’t really busy at all,” she said.

Previously, the bridge was closed to vehicles when it was stuck in the open position in October and before that, it was closed for six months in 2019.

“With the bridge, and everything happening when they were doing construction, it took a toll on us and when it finally got fixed we were super excited. And then COVID happened,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton says another temporary closing of the bridge can make things difficult for her and her coworkers.

“We are just hoping it gets fixed because we have a lot of us working here. It’s less waiters, we all get less days and right now with the holidays and everything, I think we all want a little bit more money.”

But mainly she’s worried she won’t see her regulars anymore.

“We have a lot of neighborhoods over here and we get a lot of business from them. I’ve heard, while talking to my tables, that they miss us and it’s sucks having to go all the way around [the bridge],” she said.

There is no word yet on when it will reopen but if you are traveling on the bridge often a detour route can be taken on the route 168 expressway.


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