Businesses on Cyrville Road are anxious about a proposal to close down the bridge over the Highway 417 and 174 interchange for nine months next year.

In order to replace and widen the overpass, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is proposing that it be closed to all traffic from around February to November 2011.

According to the plan, the bridge would be demolished and removed over the course of a night on a weekend and then reconstructed. That would effectively turn Cyrville Road into a dead end on the north side where it meets the Queensway.

“That’s going to make things very difficult for us,” said Barry Wagorn, owner of Wagorn’s Garage, the last business before the bridge. “Not getting access to the Queensway and all these detours are costing us time and costing me money.”

Wagorn said he understands that the bridge needs to be replaced, but he would prefer that at least one lane remain open in each direction.

The MTO does have a replacement option to keep one lane open, but it would cost $21.3 million and take two years to complete, compared to $16 million for the nine-month complete closure.

Two previous bridge replacements along the Queensway have used the rapid replacement technology, but MTO senior project engineer Frank Vanderlaan said that was not possible in this instance.

Even if they could find a suitable staging area nearby to build the new bridge, MTO would still have to close Cyrville Road to dig extra space for future extra lanes for the Queensway.

The closure will also mean the Cyrville Transitway station will be inaccessible from the south.

Transit service design manager Pat Scrimgeour said they intend to run a shuttle to bring people across the highway to either Cyrville Station or St. Laurent Station. Rough plans suggest it would be a single bus running on a 20-minute loop, he said.

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