GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The extended closure of the Mason Street Bridge has been felt by many people in the city. Kris Schuller reports many are losing patience and hope it reopens soon.
At the intersection of Mason and 12th, specifically at El Dorado Mexican Restaurant, the lunch crowd is a bit lean. In fact, Franciso Perez says it’s now slow all day, ever since the Mason Street Bridge was closed.
“Since a lot of people have to take different routes, they are bypassing here and it’s not as common for them to stop by like they use too,” said Perez.
The Mason Street Bridge closed to vehicle traffic July 6, after it was raised to let a ship through on the Fox River and got stuck in the upward position.
With the Mason Street Bridge closed to traffic, motorists have had to seek alternative routes to get across the Fox River, causing major congestion in the city’s downtown area.
“It’s crazy. It is so packed you can’t even get through and then sometimes a train comes and you’re really in a long line waiting just to go across the bridge,” said Tyrone Shaw, who drives through the area.
“We’re seeing Walnut Street and Main Street congested in the morning hours and afternoon hours and obviously it becomes annoying for many,” said Jeff Mirkes from Downtown Green Bay Inc.
“We adjust as needed on a daily basis,” said Lt. Jody Buth from Green Bay Police Department.
Buth says with thousands of additional drivers are now crossing the Fox River using the Walnut and Dousman street bridges, the department is prepared to manage traffic flow.
“Add more staff to run the lights, maybe add more staff to hit some of the major intersections, to physically get out of their squad cars and run traffic, if need be,” said Lt. Buth.
But while the situation makes drivers frustrated, for Perez the closure is costing him half of his normal revenues. He hopes that soon, the ‘bridge closed’ signs go away.
“He would just like to see it get fixed as soon as possible, and not just for him, basically for everybody that uses the Mason Street Bridge every day,” Perez said.