The road in front of Solstice Morningside was heavily lined with orange cones demarcating a new traffic pattern. Cheshire Bridge Road is usually a four-lane road but has been temporarily narrowed to two lanes to make room for construction equipment.
Across the street at Hookah Hookup, a smoke shop that sells hookahs and other paraphernalia, an employee working the counter said there had been a dip in customer traffic. Rather than the damaged bridge, he attributed the slowdown to confusion caused by building contractors at the site. There were several cars parked in front of the store, but the parking lot was bordered by orange cones and large pieces of construction equipment.
Both Solstice Morningside and Hookah Hookup are beyond the “Road Closed” sign that sits in front of 2Qute Hair Salon.
On the other side of Peachtree Creek, Taqueria del Sol was forced to close down for the day Aug. 5 as Atlanta fire crews battled the natural gas-fueled blaze for nearly 24 hours. Despite the fact that Taqueria del Sol is one of the closest businesses to the fire-damaged bridge, its location on the northeastern side of Peachtree Creek seems to have dampened the effects of the bridge closure.
“It’s better than I thought it’d be,” restaurant owner Mike Klank told the AJC. Klank said that he had recently seen some customers who are regulars at the taqueria’s Cheshire Bridge Road location at the Westside location instead.
Otherwise, “it’s been OK,” Klank said. “Signage in this direction hasn’t been too bad.”
Across the creek, Samroni said the opposite of his salons. Reduced traffic on Cheshire Bridge Road means fewer walk-ins, he said, while increased traffic on Piedmont Road has caused multiple clients to show up late for appointments or miss them.
Another problem is the temporary signage on I-85, which feeds traffic into the area through exits onto Piedmont Road and Lenox Road. Signs on the interstate indicate that Cheshire Bridge Road is closed, which Samroni believes is misleading drivers who may not understand that his salons are still accessible.
When asked about the timeline of the bridge project, one of Samroni’s customers, who declined to give his name, scoffed and said, “It’s ridiculous!”
Klank took a more fatalistic view.
“It’s one of those things where you just can’t do anything about it,” Klank said. He believes customers will adapt and continue to support the Tex-Mex restaurant’s Cheshire Bridge location.
As he spoke with the AJC on the phone from his car, he stopped mid-sentence with a chuckle.
“Well, I said customers would adapt but I was just driving to the restaurant my usual way and hit the ‘Road Closed’ sign,” he said. “It’s going to take some getting used to.”