After more than three years of work and months of delays, the new South Park Bridge is just a few months from opening. 2014 will be the year the orphaned community is finally reunited with mother Seattle and the locals are excited.
Some businesses did not survive the loss of their economic life line. When the bridge was deemed unsafe in 2010, a steady stream of traffic and customers dried up. Maria Porco and her coffee shop, Via Vadi, weathered the storm and today she is looking for a bright future.
“I’m excited. We expect to get back a lot of business we lost when the bridge closed,” said Porco, whose mother and brother own the pizzeria next door.
Meanwhile about eight blocks away, new South Park business owner Max Leinbach is trying to keep up with the demand for his beer. Knowing the bridge would be replaced played a large part in Leinbach’s decision to open The Burdick Brewery in South Park.
He said the local community has kept him in business, but now he will have a direct link to thousands of thirsty workers at Boeing and other businesses on the other side of the Duwamish River.
Some locals say they have grown to like the peace and quiet, but by spring of 2014, they know the new bridge and the old traffic will be up and running.