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Closed bridge slows business

On June 5, the Route 67 bridge closed for an 18-day renovation. That left businesses in the area with a question: would people be willing to take the detours to get to them?

To get to Malta Commons normally an easy exit drivers on the Northway have to be heading north, making many drivers follow a detour down to Exit 11 and turn around.

After following the detour and entering the parking lots, anyone would notice the lack of vehicle traffic. Most of the parking lots are empty, if not close to it. Dunkin' Donuts, a store that's never empty, had as few cars in its lot during the afternoon as it normally would in the middle of the night. The only lot that seemed nearly packed is the Marriot's.

Impressive Interiors by Covell's Upholstery does a lot of in-home work, but owner Lee Covell said the business does normally get walk-ins. But since the bridge closed, business has been moving slowly.

"It's been an ordeal," Covell said. "We knew we'd have difficulty with the ramp closed. It's been discouraging to our clients."

The Malta branch of the Saratoga YMCA has also seen a decline in attendees, but many people are working around the problem, taking the detours at exits 11 and 13.

Cornerstone Community Church, which is located in the plaza of stores, hasn't been affected at all, according to Pastor Chris Aiken.

"We're not a consumer-driven organization," he said. "It's just made it take a little longer to get here."

Other businesses located on the Commons include Ginger's Dance to Fit and state of New York Division of Veterans Affairs.""

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