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Business owners worried bridge construction will hurt them

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BAY CITY, Mich. - The third public hearing for the Lafayette Street replacement bridge in Bay City was held on Thursday at City Hall.

Some business owners worry the new bridge will hurt their bottom line.

Jerry Crete owns Ideal Party Store on Lafayette Street at the foot of the bridge. He says his grandfather bought the business in the 1930's and it later expanded into two liquor and wine shops. He went to City Hall to tell leaders that he is nervous.

"In 2013 there was a road construction project in front of our business that had very serious negative impact" he says.

Crete says at that time, business went down 60%. Officials are now working with him to ensure traffic will still pass his business. But Crete is still unclear of the future impact because the traffic pattern will change.

"It won't go across the bridge like people are normally used to doing" he says.

Crete is also worried about what could happen to all of his workers.

"My concern is equally for my employees as it is for myself . I want to be able to keep my employees working" he says.

The Bay City Transportation manager for MDOT, Jack Hofweber , says he understands but the work needs to be done.

"This bridge is getting to where it requires more and more maintenance to operate correctly" he says.

Crete realizes the city needs the new bridge and is hoping everything turns out fine.

"We've been around for 83 years we'd like to keep it around for another 83 years."

Construction is set to begin in 2020. It will take two years to complete. Members of the community can follow this link to submit a public comment.

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