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By Christine Nelson - bio l email
GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - Back at the site of the Crowder's Creek Bridge repair and the "road closed" signs are still up. NCDOT telling us now, it will be the end of May before the bridge repair is complete.
"Well they're going to put us out of business down here if they wait until May," says John Warner.
Warner owns a towing and auto repair business a half mile from the site. He says since the repair started in September, his business has taken a hit.
"As far as my regular customers coming around here on a six mile detour they won't do it," says Warner.
And as far as the business of saving lives we spoke to firefighters at nearby Crowder's Mountain Fire and Rescue, who says it's taking anywhere between five to 11 minutes to respond to emergency calls. That's because they have to use a detour to get around the bridge repair.
"Every second, every minute, every moment is important when you're responding," says Crowder's Mountain Fire & Rescue's Public Information Officer Chris Stowe.
Here's what NC-DOT is telling us the hold up is:
1. A street signal had to be activated on a detour route, requiring a seven-day flash period.
2. Another foundation item was added to the plans, requiring an extra 17 days.
3. Grading was delayed for two days until drainage structure were relocated.
4. Finally the agency still says that weather has been a persistent problem.
They are reasons folks like John and other drivers who spend extra gas using the detour just doesn't buy.
"This bridge is killing all of us down here," says Warner.
Another example that causes delays: Just over the weekend the bridge was paved and someone went over it with a bicycle or moped. Crews had to dig up the section with the markings on the road, repave it and let it set again. Those are the kind of things that hold back progress.
See, Click, Fix will stay on top of how things are going and pass along anything else we hear about Crowder's Creek Bridge.