Construction workers continue to rebuild Chicopee's Davitt Memorial Bridge.
However, a more than $8 million bridge project that was thought to take three years to complete, is now on course to be finished this summer.
On Wednesday, Chicopee's Mayor Michael Bissonnette made the announcement during his State of the City Address at the chamber of commerce's 51st annual meeting.
"The bridge is going to open a year and a half ahead of its original schedule. Instead of a three-year program, we were able to get a 60-hour work week for the contractors instead of 40," Bissonnette said.
Residents and downtown business owners told CBS 3 that they initially expected the Davitt Memorial Bridge to be open sometime in 2014, but they said the bridge opening more than a year early means more business and less headache.
"We were shocked because it's supposed to be until 2014, and obviously very happy to hear that," said Brian O'Connor, co-owner of Quicky's Family Restaurant.
O'Connor said the bridge opening sooner means his business will get more customers, and it also will allow his restaurant to operate more efficiently.
"Every delivery that they get, they have to go all the way around, get up on 391, and now once it's open, they won't have to do that. So, they'll be happy," O'Connor said.
However, businesses that haven't been affected by the bridge closing say the bridge opening sooner can only help.
"Absolutely it could bring in new business. It'll be good either way. I mean, we haven't been hurting from it, but it will only benefit us even more when the bridge is open," said Karly Monette, a bartender at The Munich Haus.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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