NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It was expected to be a traffic nightmare following the Broadway Bridge closure, but business owners in the Argenta district of North Little Rock said so far it’s been a pleasant surprise.
“I’m not quite as worried as I was," said Flyway Brewery owner, Jess McMullen
All day Friday, Flyway Brewery held a Broadway Bridge promotion, offering specials, giving their customers a reason to travel across the river.
"There’s a lot of businesses over here in Argenta that still hope to see people from Little Rock," said McMullen
Diamond Bear's lunch customers would typically take the Broadway Bridge, and it’s been a concern.
"There's no question it will have an impact; it will hurt our retail business here,” said Diamond Bear owner, Russ Melton.
However, both brewery owners said since the closure, their business has not suffered as they expected.
“We thought it would be much worse," said Melton.
They said traffic hasn't been much of an issue.
"I think it’s been a little better, maybe a lot better than what we anticipated with a traffic issue," said Melton.
“It wasn't enough of a hindrance to stop me from coming over here," said Little Rock resident Wesley Parker while having lunch at Flyway.
While there were some fears, businesses are keeping positive and looking six months ahead, when the bridge reopens.
“We're going to have a brand new beautiful avenue bridge," said McMullen.
“We already had a high traffic count coming across before, but now with the new bridge, pedestrian side and bike side, it will just amplify that," said Melton.
General Manager at Skinny J's, David Richmond, actually expects a positive impact, being on Main Street, he plans to see more people passing his restaurant.
“That brings everybody right through us right by our window, so I’m actually really excited about it," said Richmond.
“Argenta’s still kind of a destination area, so I still think it’s going to bring people over here,” said McMullen.