Bridge Work Bothers Businesses

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CANADENSIS -- A bridge replacement project in the Poconos is causing some major traffic troubles.

Businesses in Canadensis say replacing the bridge on Route 447 is driving customers away.

This PennDOT bridge replacement project began in January along Route 447, but now many business that depend on the spring and summer seasons say they're watching this bridge project drive away the business that picks up this time of year.

It seems like everything is in full bloom at the Stonewall Garden Center and Country Gift Shop in Canadensis, everything except for business.

It's a problem owner Elaine Bubb says her shop in the Poconos hasn't ever dealt with.

"Never, never, we normally have a lot of traffic on Route 447," Bubb said.

Bubb says the bridge replacement project brought business to a halt. PennDOT started work in January and it's scheduled to go through September, detouring traffic away from Canadensis onto Routes 191 and 390.

"Normally this time of the year, you should not be able to find parking in either one of our parking spots, especially on Mother's Day weekend," Bubb said.

So the flowers sit at a time of year when Bubb says she does 80 percent of her yearly sales.

Customer Gayle Janosko says she took the 10 minute detour around the bridge but realizes most people won't.

"Well, to get in and out of town I have to go all the way around. Everything is harder."

PennDOT put up a sign directing drivers to local businesses while the bridge is closed, but anybody who took the detour into Canadensis from Route 390 north totally missed it."

Rodger Smith owns Smitty's Sporting Goods and says his 2-year-old business has also taken a hit, and he wishes there were better signs, but doesn't dispute the work needs to be done.

"There's no doubt about that. I wouldn't even contest that. But I believe it could have been on a more aggressive basis."

Smith sells fishing, boating, and other outdoor supplies that only sell during the warmer months.

Smith, Bubb, and other local business owners say they don't plan to let the bridge work get the best of them.

"We can't, I'm just… I'm hoping that's not what happens. I hope that people do remember and come," Bubb added.

We tried to talk with PennDOT about this bridge project and if they would consider putting up more signs like these businesses are requesting

We have yet to hear back from them.

The bridge is scheduled to be closed through September but the businesses say they are most definitely open.