BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Business owners near the River Street Bridge in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood have one word to describe the bridge's continued closure: Crushed.
MassDOT shut down the bridge to vehicular traffic in May 2022 when inspectors found unsafe beams underneath the structure. The bridge, which runs over train tracks, is undergoing repairs for a temporary reopening that MassDOT says will happen sometime this year. Later, a permanent replacement bridge for River Street will be installed.
In the meantime, drivers must take a detour around the bridge that store owners say is hurting their bottom line.
"Basically, they have to go around in circles just to make it happen here, and some of them, they don’t even bother," one owner told WBZ NewsRadio Monday.
Jimmy, who owns a local dry cleaning store, said this is the worst business has been in "forever."
"They did the roads years ago, but we came back to normal," Jimmy said. "With that bridge, a lot of people don’t even want to come here."
Some stores estimate they have lost half their business, and even for those doing okay, the logistics of getting around have been a nightmare.
"Instead of taking, like, five minutes (to cross the train tracks), now it takes 20 minutes," one person said.
"Our second location is in Dedham, and so we manufacture everything here and [are] sending it to Dedham, and you know, obviously, that road is the direct conduit," another owner commented. "That is a major artery that feeds this center, and it being out sucks."
After reaching out to MassDOT for comment, a representative of the department told WBZ, "MassDOT is actively reviewing the construction activity and schedule, based on winter weather conditions and Amtrak access. In the spring, MassDOT will have a better understanding of the timeline for the repair work, the temporary reopening, and the full replacement."
WBZ’s Chaiel Schaffel (@CSchaffelWBZ) reports.