Downtown Conway businesses react to unexpected delay in Main St. Bridge repairs

Work on Conway bridge impacting downtown businesses

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - What was supposed to be a nearly three-month-long project to repair the Main St. Bridge in Conway could now be even longer.

Work was originally scheduled to go until the end of March, but South Carolina Department of Transportation officials said they’re now working to get the bridge reopen by Memorial Day after crews discovered more rust than expected.

Managers of businesses like The Trestle Bakery and Cafe, which sits off Main Street in downtown Conway, said the past month has been hard on the books.

“It’s been really tough. Our business has really slowed down. People are having a hard time getting to us," said Terry Bedell, general manager of The Trestle Bakery and Cafe.

Bedell said because of the road closure, just feet from the bakery, less traffic in the area means fewer people stopping by for breakfast on the way to work.

“We’re still doing our catering. We’re still getting out and being on time for our catering orders at lunch time and evening caterings. But our breakfast, our picking up dozens of doughnuts to go to work, has slowed down,” said Bedell.

Owner of Waccamaw Outfitters Matt Varnadore said his business is seasonal, which means they haven’t taken as big of a hit. But he worries what will happen should the project’s completion get pushed back again.

“It’s hard to project exactly what’s going to happen. This is kind of a necessary evil I guess. It’s gotta get done. The alternative would be to just have the bridge collapse I guess which nobody wants that," said Varnadore.

While crews continue working to repair the bridge, Bedell said her doors remain open despite the closure and has high hopes the bakery will withstand the roadblock it’s facing.

“We’re optimistic that it is going to work out and we’ll come back stronger than ever," said Bedell.

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