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7th Street Bridge Closure Causing Major Delays

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Construction shut down the busy West 7th Street bridge Thursday as the bridge is rebuilt. The shut down of the busy link from the condos, hotels, shops and restaurants on 7th Street to downtown Fort Worth had traffic backing up on the main detour route on Lancaster and business owners who depend on delivering wares searching for faster alternate routes.

“It’s almost like 30 minutes to an hour because they can’t get across and they have to detour,” said Audra Griffeth of Edible Arrangements about the delivery vehicles the company uses to send fruit and candy bouquets to homes and offices from their Montgomery Plaza store.

When their delivery try to get around the bridge into downtown, traffic is so backed up they have time to take pictures of it on their cellphones to show people back at the store later.

It takes up to an hour to get across, making on-time deliveries difficult.

“That could affect us because we’d either have to refund the person back or change the delivery to the next day,” Griffeth said.

Right now, the 7th Street Bridge is only closed for a few days. But in June it will shut down for five months. It’s not a problem if you’re just rolling into the area for a leisurely happy hour.

“It is a little bit of an inconvenience because you have to go around and go down Lancaster,” said Kelly Dwyer, a regular at the Pour House restaurant and bar.

But when you’re a server at the restaurant, and what should be a lunch time rush has only a handful of people sitting at tables, they’re praying customers were just put off by afternoon rains and the traffic headaches won’t affect business so dramatically.

“We’ll hit happy hour,” said server Taylor Baptista who had waited on just five tables during what is normally a bust lunch shift. “Happy hour starts at three and goes until 8. So, crossing my fingers until our next shift comes in at four!”

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