Plan to market Trafford could coincide with bridge opening
When the new Trafford Veterans Memorial Bridge reopens, Trafford Council wants to roll out the red carpet to invite diners and shoppers back into town.
Borough officials last week began to formulate a plan for a dedication of the bridge by choosing insurance agent Larry George to head a committee. George, whose business is on Cavitt Avenue, has served as the borough's Memorial Day parade marshal in the past.
Construction on the new bridge that will reconnect Trafford to Monroeville along Route 130 began last April. The state Department of Transportation last week estimated the $11 million project will be completed in December, one month later than originally scheduled.
“It should be on us to make sure people know you can cross the bridge again and come to our businesses,” Councilman John Daykon said.
Renee Cappetta, the president of the Trafford Economic and Community Development Corp., lauds the new bridge as a significant step toward the borough's revitalization.
Though the detour — which directs motorists to use Forbes Road — adds a couple of miles to a trip into Trafford from Monroeville, Cappetta said she doesn't think the bridge closure has deterred many people from spending money downtown in Trafford.
“A lot of people that come here; that's their destination when they get in their car and leave home,” said Cappetta, the owner of Parente's Ristorante.
But Dom Pecora, who moved Dom's Pizzeria into a bigger space on Cavitt Avenue in February, said he has heard from some of his delivery customers that they're waiting for the bridge to open before coming to his new restaurant.
“If we weren't an established business already, nobody would have made it through (downtown), I don't think, because our exposure is so limited,” said Pecora, who has been in business for four years.
He said Trafford's business district becomes quiet after 6 p.m. on most evening.
“If somebody new had opened up, they might have closed already.”
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or firstname.lastname@example.org.