FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Be prepared to take the long way around.
The cold reality is setting in.
The Anthony Boulevard Bridge is now closed to traffic.
It means a nine-month headache is just getting started.
For motorists who routinely use Anthony to go north and south through town, it’s time to grin and bear it.
Barricade signs blocking access to the bridge were moved into place mid-morning Friday, so construction crews can now focus on putting in a new bridge deck, and install stronger support beams.
A weight limit was enforced starting last year, after an inspection showed signs of deterioration.
The target date for completion is next May, with a lot of the work happening in the winter months.
" We anticipate there could be some tough weather during that period of time, which could cause some delays, but hopefully we've got enough extra time built in that we'll be able to reach the 9-month mark," said Mike Green, Allen County’s Director of Public Information.
" I'm not too happy about it. We use this thoroughfare every few days to get through and we've got a newborn baby, so we're trying to do our best to readjust and have to figure out a couple new routes," said Jason Bracht, who lives near the bridge.
Earlier Friday, cars approached the barricades, slowly looping around, and then driving off, some in disgust.
The city is trying to re-direct traffic to the west, using the Tecumseh Street Bridge as the best alternative route.
The detour route is very well marked, but be patient, because it will take some extra time to swing around the trouble spot.
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