Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The bridge closes again, maybe

THE MEMORIAL BRIDGE between West Quincy and Quincy is closing for the summer. We think. The closure has been delayed twice, and now we are being told it will probably happen next week. It will be closed until November. Maybe.

I don't know anything about bridges. I do know we are spending $7.5 million to do maintenance and safety upgrades on the nearly 100-year-old bridge. Why it takes so long in anybody's guess, but I imagine it's tedious and possibly dangerous work, dangling above the Mississippi River. Bayview Bridge will now be a two-way road to and from Quincy to Missouri. 

When the bridge closed five years ago for similar reasons, Second String Music saw a big drop off in traffic and sales. You won't believe how many people come across the bridge and drive up Maine Street and say, "I saw your music store sign and we had to check it out." 

Because we are more established now, maybe it won't have as big of an impact. I hope we can get the District and the city to make sure the signage is apparent on Broadway and directs people south into the downtown area. Sheryl has given me the job of finding a way to encourage people to come to the store...

We also think it would be a good idea to turn both Third and Fourth Streets into two-way roads, instead of Third just going south and Fourth going north. But in Quincy, the Rocking Chair community, this would rock the chair too hard and there might be too many confused people going the wrong way, despite the big signs. Then we will probably start hearing about roundabouts installed on Maine Street and it would be total chaos.

We don't like total chaos. 

Thank you Bad Wolf Media for this stunning
sunset image. Mike Sorensen ROCKS.

So we'll have less people meandering up Maine Street at some point this summer. Meandering is a good thing and often translates into stimulating the local economy.

Here's to hoping the bridge opens back sooner than November. There is talk of building a new bridge over the Mighty Mississippi, and again we hope it would include direct access to Maine Street.

But for now, if you rely on the bridges to get back and forth across the river, be prepared for delays and the inevitable crash on the bridge to snarl traffic. Someday.

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