CHESAPEAKE, OH (WOWK) — Robert C. Byrd Bridge – connecting Huntington and Chesapeake, Ohio – will have one lane open each way while workers paint and clean the bridge.

The bridge was originally scheduled to be closed from March to November 2023.

One business owner in Chesapeake says she lives just ten minutes away from her shop, but the bridge traffic has extended her commute by more than 30 minutes some mornings.

Other residents say they have to detour to the East and West Huntington Bridges to cross the Ohio River. A postal service worker told 13 News the traffic has and will continue to “wreak havoc.”

KMX Painting backpedaled on closing and compromised by keeping the bridge open, but locals say that they expect heavier traffic to pour into their neighborhoods for the foreseeable future, including Ryan Ward, a Chesapeake local.

“Probably will add another 20-30 minutes on their driving time, add gas which is up right now, that’ll be one of the main problems about it, I’d say. Heavier delays in traffic, that’s for sure,” Ward says. “But I think it’ll be nice when it’s all done. Said and done.”

There is no word on when the bridge will fully reopen. However, KMX Painting says the cleanup could bleed into early 2024.