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Some businesses surprised by foot traffic after bridge closure

Dozens of people walked the streets of downtown Conway Saturday, hopping from business to business for the Rivertown Wine-Around. Some business owners said there's already been more foot traffic since the Department of Transportation closed the Main Street bridge along 501 Business. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

Less than one week after crews shut down the Main Street Bridge on highway 501 business in Conway, some downtown business owners say they're pleasantly surprised.

The city held it's first major event since the bridge closed, the "Rivertown Wine-Around."

Leading up, some weren't sure how many people would hit the streets.

Emily Smith, owner of Good Day Sunshine, had it in the back of her mind, but she was optimistic.

"I kept my smile on the whole time. I didn't know how or why, but I knew that it wasn't going to hurt us," she said.

Thankfully, she said, she was right. She said she's seen more business this week than she can remember for January.

"It's awesome, because there's plenty of parking, lots of people walking, lots of people coming by, saying, 'Normally, I would have not come but there's no parking," Smith said.

There wasn't much for Dottie Klein, owner of Rivertown Yoga, to complain about next door. She opened her business in July, knowing the bridge would be shut down eventually.

"I was a little worried," she said. "It's actually a little bit quieter than before because everybody's over there at the 501 bypass, but I haven't had too many people complain about it or anything."

The South Carolina Department of Transportation said the bridge won't open until at least the end of March.

"I can't wait til it gets warmer...so we can send people over to the Riverwalk," said Smith.

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