Cairo Bridge closure causing problems for local business

It’s lunchtime at Indian Hills Trading Post in Wickliffe, but there’s no one in sight.

"I don’t know how to react to it. It’s heartbreaking," says Doris Brack.

In the five years she’s worked here, Brack says she has never seen it so dead.

She says lunchtime usually brings in a large crowd of hungry travelers, raking in about $500 each day. But now, Brack says these sales are down to about $90 a day, and she says the Cairo Bridge closure is to blame.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says more than 5,500 vehicles use the bridge to cross the Ohio River each day —traffic that’s now being diverted around the town of Wickliffe.

However, not everyone got the memo about the closure.

Brack says most of their business is coming from people who were driving on U.S. 51, but had to turn around because of the barricades. She says while many are coming to get gas, others are just coming for directions.

"Mostly people wanting to know how to get to Missouri or Illinois," says Brack.

Angela Weston was on her way to Sikeston, Missouri, when the barricades stopped her in her tracks.

"It’s all about trying to do the best that we can during the situation," says Weston.

For her, that means indulging in some convenience store goodies.

"It’s good to see somebody to talk to cause you get lonesome here," says Brack.

That’s something Brack is not use to, especially during lunchtime.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says they hope to have to have the bridge back open by Thursday or Friday, but it all depends on what Mother Nature decides to do during these next few days.

As the bridge remains closed, transportation officials suggest giving yourself plenty of time to take the 80 mile detour.

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