The cones are gone, the lanes are open, and the businesses of Sherman’s Town Center and Sherman Commons developments want area consumers to know it. The traffic headaches of a 16-month bridge construction project are now behind the city, and the new Loy Lake Road bridge is open for business.

The cones are gone, the lanes are open, and the businesses of Sherman’s Town Center and Sherman Commons developments want area consumers to know it. The traffic headaches of a 16-month bridge construction project are now behind the city, and the new Loy Lake Road bridge is open for business.


"It has increased the traffic that has come in (off Loy Lake Road)," Palio’s Pizza Cafe Manager Sheila Hardin said. "It has made it more convenient for people, you can tell. … There is more traffic flowing through here; the flow is much better. And when the bridge was closed, it was much harder to make deliveries."


Construction on the bridge saw numerous setbacks due to inclement weather, but the new portion of the bridge was finally opened to the public earlier this month. Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes owner Philip Sipe said the end of the project should be a relief for his bottom line, but he was concerned that many people remain unaware the bridge is now complete.


"I don’t think the general public knows the bridge is open yet, so it’s still pretty slow," Sipe said. "I’m hoping things will start picking up pretty soon. … (The construction) made at least a 20 percent delta in sales, so I’m hoping that’s going to start creeping back up."


Nearby at Wendy’s, local retiree Jerry Jackson said he cut back severely on his trips to Town Center while construction was ongoing. The traffic, Jackson said, made it not worth the trip, most of the time.


"Oh, definitely, I’ll come this way more now that you can get across (U.S. Highway) 75 so easy," Jackson said. "When they were working on the bridge, sometimes it’d take two or three light (cycles) just to make it through. It was best to avoid the whole deal, I thought."


An employee at a Town Center hair salon, who said she could not speak on the record due to corporate restrictions, said management even went so far as to cut back shifts while construction was ongoing, putting a hurt on the budgets of her and her coworkers.


"There’s just other places to get your hair cut, you know, so I think a lot of people thought, ‘Why bother with the traffic?’" she said. "This is still the best place to shop around here, so I bet folks will start coming back here for most things pretty quick."