The finicky Mystic Drawbridge, which has been known to malfunction, is causing headaches for local business owners, who say the unreliable bridge is keeping customers away.
When boats need to pass through, the Mystic Drawbridge goes up. But on Sunday, the problem was that it wouldn't go down – it stayed stuck for three hours.
“The whole store was packed, and as soon as that happened, people just cleared out of the store. They were worried about how to get home, how to catch the ferry. It was sort of a mass exodus,” said Cheryl Robdau, owner of Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream.
It’s not the first time the bridge has malfunctioned.
Employees of neighboring stores, such as the ice cream shop and The Blue Horse Children's Shop, say there have been many problems since the bridge was renovated, and it's affecting business.
“A lot of people get disgusted and won't come. Disgruntled with the situation and just won't bother coming to Mystic,” said Marge Macris, owner of The Blue Horse Children’s Shop.
The State Depart of Transportation apologizes to any business that may have been affected by the bridge malfunctioning and says it's working to permanently fix the bridge.
“This is our busy time of year, so hopefully it will be remedied soon,” said Macris.
The state DOT says it's in the final stages of a huge mechanical overhaul. It's fine tuning and adjusting switches on the bridge that act as sensors, telling the operator when the bridge is locked down and safe.
Once those are adjusted, there should be no more problems, according to the DOT.
“We don't want that to be something that people remember as a big hassle. We want people to come down and love the bridge and... have a positive experience with the bridge,” said Robdau.