EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The Manhan Bridge in Easthampton is now closed for major repairs. The project has been in the works for years but the rebuilding will affect more than just those behind the wheel.
On Monday, construction crews dug, scraped and knocked down fences; in an effort to demolish Easthampton's Rt. 10 bridge. MassDOT closed the bridge to all traffic Monday morning.
"It kind of makes it nice. Because before it was affecting me more, with all of the traffic and people just going down here, now it's actually better," said Jamie Jeffords whose house is located next to the bridge.
The bridge is expected to be closed for six months; if it isn't re-opened by then, the contractor will be fined. Detours are posted telling you where you need to go. In light traffic, drivers say the loop is just less than five minutes.
"Traffic is the big thing as far as time wise. So, I try to come up during the middle [the day], not in the morning or the evening. Otherwise, it will be a nightmare," said Garry Welch of Chicopee.
This construction is not only going to affect your commute, it's also going to affect businesses like the Tru Beer Liquor Store; located just steps from the bridge.
"The place is very funky looking, which is very attractive," said owner Samuel Braudis.
Braudis has owned Tru Beer for two years and says he knew about the repairs before buying the business. He's counting on social media to help remind customers that's he's still open.
"I'm sure it will slow down. We try to do daily posts because we do the beer of the day. When new beers come in we post that. So, people are constantly seeing communication coming from us," said Braudis inside his Rt. 10 shop on Monday.
A pedestrian bridge is open and will allow for people to cross. The Easthampton Chamber of Commerce has set up text alerts. You can get them by texting MANHAN to 96362.