Three months ago, plenty of motorists would be hard pressed to even locate the small bridge over Shem Creek on Bowman Road.
Going on its fifth month of closure, motorists surely now know about the bridge. But no one may be suffering more than the small businesses between Johnnie Dodds and Chuck Dawley boulevards.
The impact has been so significant, the town has issued a public plea reminding residents to patronize the area's small businesses.
"Whenever possible, stop by to patronize these businesses," said Town Administrator Eric DeMoura. "The bridge will reopen next month and relief is on the way, but it’s important to support our businesses in the midst of the road construction."
The town has sought to bolster businesses all along U.S. 17 as the town, county and state spend millions on road work there. Signs along the route encourage motorists to shop local and jokingly refer to Mount Pleasant as "Construction Land."
But the plight faced by businesses in the impacted areas is apparently no laughing matter.
"Local businesses create economic activity and character in our community," DeMoura said. "Most new jobs are provided by local businesses and customer service is better. Local businesses also invest in the community, and competition and diversity lead to more consumer choices."