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Mulberry St. Bridge closed, riders use new bus route - abc27 WHTM

Mulberry St. Bridge closed, riders use new bus route

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Starting today, the Mulberry Street Bridge in Harrisburg will be closed until December. Capital Area Transit is offering a new bus service for many of those living in Allison Hill who used the bridge to walk to downtown.

Jackhammers were heard Wednesday morning as crews began work on the crumbling Mulberry Street Bridge. The high-traffic branch between Cameron and Chestnut streets will be shut down until Christmas.

This was the first day many pedestrians opted to try CAT's new bus line, Route 17. abc27 rode the new route and picked up the 1 p.m. bus at the Market Street Transfer Center. Bus Operator Sylvester Whitlock said it didn't take much to learn the new loop that spans from Downtown, State and 17th streets, Kline Village, Union Deposit and back through Allison Hill.

"[Riders are] still getting used to it now," he said. "Going over to 17th Street."

CAT chose to eliminate Route 15 that stopped along on 15th Street, instead hit a few blocks north to help cut down on walking distance by half around Allison Hill. The new route also stops at Hamilton Health Center 26 times a day.

A new route means new travel times, which include a new daily routine for many. Deanna Gardner said she would pick up the 15 bus right after work but the new line comes an hour later.

"It's just going to be a pain in my butt now, because I'm going to be killing myself to get this bus if I can," she said. "If I don't, I'm screwed."

Adrian Pierce said the new route is a trade off between where she typically needs to go and where she lives.

"The 17 is convenient because it brings me closer to some of the stuff I have to go to," she said. "[Route] 15 was better, it brought me straight to my house."

Pierce said she does like the Hamilton Health Center stop, overall she is happy with the new line. Her daughter was one of many people who walked across the Mulberry Street Bridge. For those who cannot afford even a convenient service, they are now asked by PennDOT to use the Market and Cameron streets intersection to walk downtown.

Some are content to take the inconvenience now in lieu of progress.

"It is what it is," said Pierce. "Hopefully it's a better bridge when it's done."

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