STROUDSBURG — In Monroe County, a main artery into downtown Stroudsburg is scheduled to reopen Monday morning.
The Seventh Street Bridge, which connects interstate 80 to downtown, has been closed since 2011 due to structural issues.
Folks we spoke with said the reopening is a huge deal for commuters, visitors, and the local economy.
PennDOT officials said the bridge is scheduled to reopen around 10:30 a.m.
People said it’s been a long time coming.
“It was a difficult time, sometimes because of the light, the light down at the other bridge, I used to have to leave a few minutes earlier than I normally do,” said Geild Maly of Stroudsburg.
“The bridge has completely closed off Compton’s, and you have to go up all the way around and cut through to get to it, so they’re losing a lot of business,” said Jeannine Spadaccini of East Stroudsburg.
PennDOT officials closed the bridge in June of 2011 because it needed to be replaced.
The bridge was built back in the 1930s and was last upgraded in the late 1960s.
When the bridge shut down it sent an estimated 9,000 drivers on another route, affecting commuters and local businesses.
“Our customers have to take the detour and sometimes they get lost in the process of coming back and around and down, and trying to find Anne Street again,” said Judy Henry of The Potting Shed.
“I would say slightly, for new customers not in the area with all the one way streets that hopefully will alleviate that problem, as well as, be easier for them to find us and get here,” said Nancy Guardo of Bed and Biscuits Dog Hotel.
A lot of folks agree, even though it was a long wait, they are happy it is finally over.
“I’ll be able to come over the bridge to go to work. I won’t have to leave so early now,” said Maly.
“The old bridge was falling apart, it was not safe, but it’s safe now, that’s the main thing,” said Spadaccini.