HOPEWELL JUNCTION, N.Y. - Residents who live around the Route 82 bridge near All Angels Hill Road in Wappingers Falls - and businesses that count on traffic flow - are breathing a sigh of relief now that the lengthy bridge project is nearly completed.
Workers at the site confirmed the span should be ready to go in a week or two.
But with the road closure stretching to seven months, the impact on area residents and especially the businesses at the intersection, have been considerable.
Perhaps none has felt the impact more than Dave's E Cig Shop owner Dave Pugliese, whose store is the only one actually on a portion of the intersection where cars cannot get to his store.
The impact on Pugliese's once thriving business nearly forced him to close the doors. "I had to let three employees go," Pugliese told Daily Voice, as steamrollers mere feet away from his door shook the entire store.
"It's been seven months, and it's almost put me out of business," he added. "I've contacted (State Senator) Sue Serino, Governor Cuomo, various times. Everyone just says it's not their responsibility. Yet everyone who sees this says there should be some kind of business mitigation (reimbursement). It's definitely been a hardship."
Pugliese actually opened a second store recently on Route 9, in order to build new clientele, and to keep his business afloat. "I had to open the other store to keep the business going," he said.
The Shine Car Wash across the intersection from Pugliese closed its doors recently, and Mobil on the Run on the corner said the closing has slowed business by 20 to 30 percent. "Customers who live nearby keep coming, but others stay away," manager Gogi Gaganjit said.
Gaganjit added the station nearly lost its contract with Mobil, which requires dealers to maintain high sales numbers.
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