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Published March 18, 2010, 07:59 PM

Less Business In Dowtown EGF Because Of Bridge Closures

With only one bridge left open connecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, fewer people will be crossing the river for entertainment and eating.

With only one bridge left open connecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, fewer people will be crossing the river for entertainment and eating.

The Sorlie Bridge closed this morning. That's the bridge that connects the downtown areas of East Grand Forks and Grand Forks, and it's also the way people travel to downtown businesses across the river. Drivers will have to take detours until river levels go back down.

Denise Unseth says, "It was a little quieter lunch than we're accustomed to, but it wasn't bad at all."

Unseth is the manager at the Blue Moose Bar and Grill in East Grand Forks, where you can see the river from the restaurant. She says less traffic over the bridge will mean less business for downtown stores, but it won't be a deal breaker.

"As people get tired of staying home and not going places, they tend to just make the effort to go where they want,” says Unseth.

Across the street at River Cinema, they're also staying optimistic.

Ryan Amiot, the assistant manager, says, "It might slow down a little bit. There are still other routes they can take to get to the movie theatre."

While the other route could take an extra 20 minutes, Unseth says it's nothing compared to what people in larger cities drive for dinner and a movie.

Unseth says, "It's what 20 minutes across town. In a big city that's nothing. We're just a little spoiled. You can just get everywhere like now."

The Kennedy Bridge is now the only bridge open connecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. The Point and Sorlie Bridges closed today.

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