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The Route 46 bridge over Mosquito Creek is closed between Vienna Avenue and North Main Street.
Work began Monday to replace the bridge, the road will be closed through the end of October. Many didn’t know the project was set to start until they tried to drive through that part of town.
“And I saw the sign, and a lot of traffic coming from places that usually traffic doesn’t come from,” said Mary Lee Gysegem of Niles.
A handful of businesses sit close to the bridge being replaced.
The folks at Hometown Vision say trucks and traffic were turning around in their parking lot all day. Some customers didn’t even know the place was open.
“We actually had a few cancellations on appointments and a lot, a lot of phone calls asking why they can’t get down to the business,” said Stanton McCauley, a led tech at Hometown Vision.
The Ohio Department of Transportation posted detour takes drivers all the way out Route 422 to Interstate 80, and back on to 46, but residents who live and work in the city of Niles said they know some better back roads that get them around the construction quicker.
“It was more like a convenience bridge, but you can literally go down Federal and take a left onto Main and still reach every place you need to go,” said Niles resident Bobbie Wilson.
“It’s okay, you just go on a different tour of the countryside,” remarked Brenda Cramer, also of Niles.
“I’ll have to take back roads to get to downtown Niles, it’ll be a little inconvenience but not that big a deal,” added Jim Flick of Niles.
Signs indicate that the bridge will stay shut down six months, but ODOT officials said work should wrap up by the end of October.
“If the road gets better it’s all worth it,” said Flick.
“Nice new bridge coming along,” added Cramer.
ODOT officials said the first week is always the most difficult for drivers and residents.
Another Trumbull County bridge replacement project also getting underway as well. It affects State Route 5, just west of the Ohio Turnpike in Braceville Township. The ramp from the Turnpike to Route 5 West is also closed through early July.