Above: A ceremonial “re-opening” was held on Saturday at Sheila's Sunnydale Florist in Delhi. Pictured from left are Delaware County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Jim Thomson; John Faso, a Republican candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives; business owner Sheila Beemer; Delhi town Supervisor Mark Tuthill; Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ray Pucci and Greater Delhi Chamber of Commerce Vice President Christina Viafore. Photo by Robert Cairns.
Delhi's main river crossing is open to two-way traffic on Wednesday, Dec. 2 after seven months of construction.
To celebrate, Delhi officials gathered on Saturday, Nov. 28 to promote a business that was affected by the months-long closure.
Traffic had been limited to one lane, controlled by signals, since work began in May.
A ribbon-cutting organized by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce was held at Sheila's Sunnydale Florist, a business on an island in the west branch of the Delaware River between the twin spans that carry Route 28 over the river and into the heart of the village.
While the flower shop has stayed open throughout the seven-month bridge rehabilitation project, access has been limited.
Florist Sheila Beemer said on Saturday that the gathering of about ten people was the largest crowd in her shop since the project began.
“It's been a long time coming,” Beemer said. “It's been a struggle.”
Above: Contractors put finishing touches on the bridges on Monday, Nov. 30. Photo by Robert Cairns.
Beemer said that she maintained regular hours throughout the summer and fall months and kept her entire staff. The biggest challenge, she said, was keeping an inventory of fresh flowers for those who needed them quickly without ordering flowers that would go to waste because of the diminished demand.
Ray Pucci, executive director of the chamber of commerce, said that the bridge opening would benefit more than just the flower shop.
“When the bridge opens for real,” he said on Saturday, “we’ll have a lot more activity.”
The bridge was fully open to two-way traffic on Wednesday.
Delhi town Supervisor Mark Tuthill said rehabilitation of the bridges was important for safety reasons.
“I'm just glad they got it done so nobody got hurt,” he said. “Hopefully, we'll see some more DOT projects in Delhi next year.”
One of those projects, he said, is the repair of Route 10, which is also Delhi's Main Street. Tuthill said that he and village of Delhi Mayor Richard Maxey had met with New York State Department of Transportation officials about projects which could include repairs to upper Main Street.
“We seem to be making some gains,” he said.