By: Devin Fussa
Recent renovations to the Rogers Road Bridge have altered life for many members of the local community. Students and commuters have had to re-evaluate their plans of travel in order to bypass the construction. An overlooked aspect of the bridge’s closing, however, is its effect on local businesses.
While passing through the South Main-Rogers Road intersection, a nearby sign reads, “Rogers Road Closed, Businesses Still Open.” Down the road lies multiple major points of community interest, including restaurants, shops, and a Sheetz gas station. The closed bridge is a hinderance for these businesses with a lack of traffic in the area creating worry over financial stability. Sheetz, for example, has dropped its regular gas prices down to $2.00 per gallon, far lower than it’s other locations in order to attract customers. Comparatively, their nearby location in Youngsville still holds regular gas prices at $2.06 per gallon.
This situation is also worrying for smaller, locally owned businesses. One such business is Triangle Dry Cleaners, privately owned by Ms. Marianne Horne. She says that her individual store has retained the majority of it’s customers; although, she worries other companies may not be as fortunate. Ms. Horne stated that she is extremely thankful for the loyalty of her clientele who have helped her store through the trying times. “I just hope the people who struggle through are able to recover.”
Dairy Depot also resides down the road, known for its ice cream and other treats. Mrs. Karrie Matthews owns the store and says that since the bridge’s closing profits have dropped by about thirty percent, but also, expresses her gratitude for recurring customers and new faces. And while this summer has been difficult, she fully expects the business to recover after the bridge re-opens: “I anticipate bouncing back.” Dairy Depot has even taken to creating “Bridge Bucks” as a way to entice customers to stop by more often. With purchases during the bridge expansion, customers are awarded coupons for returning after the bridge is complete.
It’s important to remember that while the Rogers Road Bridge is closed, the nearby businesses are most certainly open. The support of the local community is appreciated now more than ever, and owners are immensely thankful for both new and returning customers.