The damn bridge is fixed and business is returning

For more than three years, the people of River Rouge rallied around 'fix the damn bridge'. It's done and business is already coming back.

- In just a few short days, businesses in one Downriver city have gone from nearly failing to thriving -  all because of the damn bridge.

Justin Magana learned the hard way what happens when a bridge is broken, like the Jefferson Street drawbridg was for three years.

"When the bridge was open before that happened. We were busy, we were getting people from the water plant coming in here. We were getting customers and then that happened to the bridge and business slowed down completely," Magana said. "We almost closed our doors a couple times but we stayed open."

For three years and three months, bridge stayed upright. it was broken when a drunk operator dropped it on a passing freighter. 39 months and $20 million later, the bridge reopened last Friday, to much fanfare.

But it's not just business that are seeing a change. The people who live in River Rouge and work outside the city are now getting to work faster than before.

"Now I actually get to work on time vs an hour late, half hour late. It was terrible, good thing they finally got it open," Anthony Garrett said.

Business like convenience stores and coney islands rely on regulars in order to stay afloat. But getting new business helps them do more than stay open - it helps them make a profit.

"We have already seen a jump within the 6 days," Trina England said.

Time will tell if River Rouge can truly rebound but the signs of progress are looking good so far.
 
"We are cleaning out two of the businesses. Someone just bought them. Hopefully they can open them up and get something cracking," Garrett said.

All the businesses were able to remain open because of flash mobs. They showed up once a week or so and spent money to keep the businesses open. But the bridge doesn't mean the flash mobs are over. They said they'll continue to help make sure they remain afloat.


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