Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 38 of 71

CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JUNE 13-19, 2019 LINCOLN 39 Raposo said 10 percent of custom- ers equals about 10 percent of dollars earned. "In this store if the customer count is down, our dollar amount is down," he said. "We're a smaller busi- ness so that really affects us." Depault said the summer months for his hardware store are "his Christmas," or their busiest season as residents frequent the store for supplies for their summer home improvement projects. "This is make or break. We will not get that business back when the bridg- es are reopened," he said. He said he reached out to Sen. Ryan Pearson, of District 19, Cumberland, Lincoln, with his concerns and last week was visited by representatives from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Depault said he asked why RIDOT can't open up the bridge when they are not actively working on it, not- ing that the project is not related to the bridge surface decking, only the guardrails and tresses. "They didn't give me an answer," he said. "In my opinion there's no reason they cannot put up temporary barriers on days or weekends they are not working on it. I understand that the bridge has historical parts that are painstaking to repair, but why will it take until mid-August to paint a bridge?" Coupled with ongoing improve- ments on Diamond Hill Road, Depault said he hardly blames people for seeking alternative options rather than taking a 15-minute detour to his shop. "I'm all for maintaining these bridges. I'm from Albion … I grew up there, I want them to be fixed and look good, but I'm not for them being closed this long." The bridges, which are located near the Highland Falls Condominiums, are not expected to reopen to traffic until early to mid-August. The bridge closures are another headache for Albion residents already driving an extra mile or so to pick up their mail every day. The village does not have home delivery, and its post office has been under construc- tion since the original building was destroyed by a fire in February 2017. Since then, local residents have been picking up their mail at the post office in Manville. There is no home deliv- ery in Albion. Residents have been sounding off for years about the length of time it's taken to rebuild. The developer, Jeffrey Piette, owner of Jeff's Home Improvements, said the entire project has been "slow going," with delays from the very start. Acquiring the proper permits and drawings "dragged on," he said, and working with the strict requirements of the U.S. Postal Service proved difficult. Piette told The Breeze that he expects to wrap up construction in about two weeks. Power is on and plumbing is complete and waiting on an inspec- tion. Piette said they're ready to insu- late, inspect and then complete the interior build-out. "It'll get done," he said. "I'll tell you it was a lot more expensive than anticipated." BRIDGE From Page One Shops within the CUMBERLAND PLAZA at 2000 Mendon Road, at top, say busi- ness slowed exponentially after the Rhode Island Department of Transportation closed two bridges in Albion on School Street. The bridges are not set to reopen until early to mid-August, according to RIDOT.

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