22nd Avenue Bridge to Partially Open

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The city of Meridian is planning to open one lane of traffic each way on the 22nd Avenue bridge soon.

The Meridian City Council got an update on the project at its Tuesday meeting.
The bridge has been closed since June for major repairs.

The work site is a scurry of activity as the construction company puts it in overdrive to once again get traffic flowing into downtown Meridian.

The rush is on because the project is already several weeks behind schedule because of a work order that had to be placed several weeks into the project. Now public works director Monty Jackson says the crew will be working as fast as it can to get the job done.

"We are in the process of trying to finish up the east side," Jackson said. "And as soon as it is finished the plan is to open up the west side for two-way traffic. There will be a bottleneck but we want to get the traffic flowing."

Jackson said he believes the west lane will be open at some point in the next two weeks, which is great news for Terrence Roberts of The Gathering Place, a coffee shop run by New Wine Ministries. The coffee shop and daycare located in the same building have been greatly affected since the bridge closed.

Back in September, Roberts said, "I think it is going to be great when it's done. I just wish they would hurry up and finish."

He said he remains positive but with a little more desperation in his voice after six months of inconvenience.

"People call from the interstate all the time and trying to tell them how to get here from the detours is just impossible," Roberts said Tuesday. "I go by and I'm excited to see more work done, but gosh, I wish it was finished. I was hoping it would be done by Dec. 1."

As the first of the month rolls by, Roberts can only take comfort in the fact that his customers will now be able to use a more direct route, even if it's only one side of the bridge.

"As the pastor of a church, I'm trying to practice what I preach," said Roberts. "So I'm trying to be patient because I know it will be better when it is all said and done."

In all, the project includes repairing some sections of concrete, replacing the approaches of the north and south ends with new concrete and adding new railings.

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