Broken drawbridge killing downtown River Rouge

Downtown River Rouge is in danger of becoming a ghost town and according to locals, a broken drawbridge is killing businesses.

And this isn't anything new. 

The signs that plaster downtown River Rouge aren't sugar coating it: "Fix the DAMN bridge" is all over the city. 

The bridge, in this instance, is the Jefferson Avenue drawbridge on the edge of town in River Rouge has been broken for some time.

But it's more than just an eyesore, it's a road to ruin for small businesses in the city.

Shops like Classic Printing and Graphics. Sid and Donna Stewart own the shop and say it was the bridge operator who caused it to be broken in the first place.

"It's our understanding that the operator was inebriated and lowered the bridge onto a boat under it," Donna said.

Sid says it twisted the drawbridge and now, it's stuck in the upright and locked position.

How long? Long enough for plants and weeds to grow out of the asphalt around the barricades. Three years.

"We had a very good business," Sid said. "We had five or six people working. My son worked for us. He ultimately went bankrupt because of it.

"It put a big rift in the family, on and on. It's just the two of us now."

In that time, the Stewarts say their business is down about 80 percent.

They're not alone. 

"Not only us, the clothing store of over 45 years is gone," Sid said. "All the businesses are gone."

Well, not quite all. Jason Carr found a liquor store that's still open.

Complete with a sign on the store says it's now accepting bridge cards.

It sits directly above the "Fix the DAMN bridge" sign that's also affixed to the building.

That's a bit of poetic injustice because the longer the bridge is down, the more people who may need a bridge cards because their business failed.

Locals say Wayne County keeps setting dates to fix it but nothing ever happens. Not even relief.

"We were supposed to get a tax break," Sid said. "We received our tax bill - it's an increase. What do you do?" 

Keep going. That's exactly what the Stewarts are doing.

So if you're a beer or liquor distributor and you need some signs done, or you just need some signs done, CLICK HERE to go to www.clickonclassics.com.

Why? Because people like Sid and Donna could use the work.  


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