Willimansett Bridge Closing Hurts Small Businesses
CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — The Willimansett Bridge connecting Chicopee and Holyoke has been closed for nearly two years now.
It’s being repaired due to its deteriorating condition.
Thousands of cars would normally travel over the bridge every day.
While the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic there is a walkway that allows pedestrians to come and go but the lack of vehicles coming over that bridge has hurt local businesses.
“It’s impacted it quite a bit, I would say I’ve lost about 50 percent of my business,” says Mark MacDonald.
MacDonald runs ABM Transmission. It’s located at the foot of the bridge on the Chicopee side. He’s had to lay off two employees since the bridge was closed.
“I’ve had to spend a lot of money on advertising just to get people down to this end of the street and some people don’t even know I’m here anymore, they think I went out of business or closed,” says MacDonald.
Next to ABM Transmission is Ludwin Oil and Tire.
Joe Ludwin is thankful for his regular customers who have stayed with him,”We’ve been pretty fortunate, we’ve had our regular customers coming in and we don’t have the volume of business we used to but we’re still surviving,” says Ludwin.
Both Joe Ludwin and Mark MacDonald share a similar concern about construction progress.
“I wish they speed up on the bridge, I think to me it’s too small a crew doing this kind of a job, they should speed things up put more manpower into it,” says Ludwin.
In the meantime they survive and wait for the day that cars will move freely over the bridge again.