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Mahomet Bridge To Reopen

Updated: Monday, August 11 2014, 03:04 PM CDT

A two year construction project of a Mahomet bridge is almost done. The Lake of the Woods bridge project over 1-74 has caused a huge inconvenience for Mahomet residents but that will all change one week from today.

At least 2500 homes are connected to Mahomet by the Lake of the Woods bridge---the project wasn’t expected to take as long but work crews noticed structural issues that forced a complete reconstruction.

Gary LaForge of Mahomet Public Works says "they were doing repairs and keeping it open and it finally got to the point where they realized fairly quickly that they couldn’t keep it open anymore".

As a result, drivers would go six extra miles to get around the bridge. On average, that's an additional 10-15 minutes.

“It’s definitely a shorter trip to downtown and I think the people on the east side of town probably went to Champaign more than they went to downtown because it was easier," says LaForge.

Benny Lay owns a car detail shop close by. His business has certainly taken a hit.

“Because of the bridge being closed, you know, nobody's even driving by and even paying attention to the building now and seeing the telephone number to even make a call,” Lay says.

A sports bar and antique shop have gone out of business since the bridge closed. Owners blame it on the construction. Lay's is the only nearby business still open.

“I'm very excited to hear because that means there's gonna be more traffic coming through and business should pick up a little bit more,” Lay says.

With the 4.3 million dollar project, drivers can expect a wider roadway, bike path and pedestrian walkway,

“Runners, the pedestrians, it gives them a safe crossing. They don’t have to worry about vehicle traffic, they don’t have to worry about merging,” LaForge says.

Mahomet officials believe with the bridge re-opening, it will hopefully bring more business back to the area.but without a doubt, drivers will get through town much quicker

A ribbon cutting ceremony set for next Friday at10am. The community is welcome to attend. The bridge is expected to re-open next Friday as well.

Mahomet Bridge To Reopen

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