Businesses react to Elton Hills Bridge reopening; future event celebrates new bridge

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Elton Hills bridge reopened earlier this week.

In October of last year, the bridge was closed for construction.

“All the time the business was less. Especially when the bridge was closed,” said Ismail Ahmad, an employee at the Middle East Restaurant.

The restaurant is on Elton Hills Drive. Ahmad said the bridge closure made it harder for customers to come to the restaurant.

“They use other routes to our restaurant,” he said.

Ahmad said that when the bridge reopened, he noticed a difference.

“We feel better because we’re getting more customers. And that would be more sales for us and that would be better for us,” he said.

Another business, 125 Live, is directly next to the bridge.

“With these parts of the construction done, we know that people will have greater access to what we do here. There’s going to be a lot more traffic that’s coming through. Even before the construction, reviewing some of the city information, the data of how many people are traversing Elton Hills Drive, it’s a huge number and we’re really excited to see them coming back through,” said Ken Baerg, 125 Live Operations Manager.

125 is celebrating the reopening of the bridge with a community event called the Free Elton Hills Bridge Re-Opening Community Celebration.

“Just to kind of bring people together and remind everyone that the businesses and the organizations that are on this stretch of road, we’re still here and we’re fighting to keep our business going and afloat and get as many people back here to see that,” Baerg said.

The event is on Aug. 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will include music, food, vendors, carnival games, and an appearance by clowns and Yammy Bear.

The event is at 125 Live.

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