Traffic woes in Gore, because of the bridge collapse

Saturday, June 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Just as small towns near the I-40 bridge collapse get traffic under control. They have more concerns. Storeowners in Gore are already noticing a slump in sales this week, which has them a little worried about the months to come.

News on Six reporter Patrina Adger says Malinda Rolland has worked at this Phillips 66 in Gore for about a year. She says she's never seen the streets of Gore look like this. "Today's been really busy."

Residents in this tiny town of 700 have seen more cars and semi trucks pass through in one day than in one week. Rolland says the store manager decided to keep the doors open later just to keep up with the big-city boom. "We were open 6am to 10pm. Now we are a 24 hour store." Since Sunday's bridge collapse, storeowners around town have noticed business is down. Customers simply pass through without stopping. Or stop only for coffee and bathroom breaks.

Even the Cool and Colorful SnowCone shop, which is busy during the hot months, isn't seeing an increase in business. As a matter of fact the owner says even the locals are staying away from this area altogether. Store owner, Pat Young, "The locals don't want to come down in the middle of all this. The traffic going thru isn't gonna take the time to stop and get out of line. They're gonna stay in line and keep on truckin." Truckin' in at least until the end of the year when the bridge may reopen.

Pat Young just hopes her business doesn't melt before that happens. "The locals will get used to it after awhile and they'll start coming back around."

City workers say they’re now seeing more than 15,000 vehicles traveling through Gore. On a regular day, workers say they're lucky to see a thousand.