B y Krystle S. Morey

Lower Turnpike Bridge

What started as a facelift for a 130-year-old bridge in North Granville has turned into a “nightmare” for a few business owners.
The steel truss-style bridge, which crosses the Mettowee River to connect State Route 22 in North Granville to County Route 12 in Whitehall, was closed Sept. 11 for painting, but officials say it will remain closed for three or four more weeks for additional repairs.
While working on the one-lane bridge, engineers discovered two 10-inch cracks in the structural supports of the bridge, said Steve Haskins, superintendent of Washington County’s Department of Public Works.
In the meantime, traffic will continue to be detoured around the construction area, through Truthville on County Route 12. The route sets drivers only about a mile south of where Lower Turnpike exits.
This is a troublesome and frightening thought for Jim and Lisa French, owners of Schoony’s Country Market in North Granville.
The detour is making it an inconvenience for would-be customers to stop at the market, Jim French said.
“People have said to me, ‘It’s not you Jimmy, it’s the detour,’” he said.
The bridge closure has forced French to take action.
“I’ve lost $16,000 in sales since that bridge has been out,” he said, adding that he has let three of his employees go.

This is only a preview of the story published in the Granville Sentinel. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

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