Workers are already preparing the road closure signs as the city prepares to replace the historic Harford Road Bridge, and the Harford Convenience Store is about to become far less convenient for the 22,000 vehicles, which pass through here every day.
“I have big worry, because this store close... the road close so no customers coming,” said Owner Dinesh Kanani, “How can the customers come in the store? So I think some of my business is lost.”
The bridge dates back more than a hundred years and time has begun eating away at the concrete beneath the structure, which spans Herring Run.
Tearing down the old bridge and building a new one will cost almost $19 million and will take three years to complete, and the city could ill afford to keep lanes open during the process.
“Anything other than a full closure will cost twice as much and take almost three times as long,” said Project Engineer Christopher Brown, “If you can get as far away from the bridge as possible, as early as possible, it's probably the easiest from a traffic standpoint. We will have sign detours northbound and southbound.”
Harford Road will be closed from the intersection of Argonne and Parkside drives north of the bridge and south to Erdman Avenue, and drivers will have to seek alternate routes like Belair Road, Perring Parkway and Hillen Road.
“Obviously, there's a massive impact with folks when it comes to that,” said Bridge Engineering Section Chief Scott Weaver, “You've got a school nearby. There's MTA bus routes. We've been coordinating with all of our partners in that respect.”
But for business owners like Dinesh Kanani, there's no help in sight.
“For businesses in the corridor, it's going to be difficult for these three years,” said Brown, “We don't have any specific type of mitigation.”
You could call it a price of progress at Kanani's expense.
“So I think maybe shut down (the) business,” said the dejected owner with an eye towards his uncertain future.