With Black Friday, business owners get first big test with Blanchette Bridge closure


by Emily Rau / News 4 and KMOV.com staff


Posted on November 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 24 at 8:55 AM

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV) -- Black Friday in St. Charles was a big test for business owners, as the kickoff of the holiday shopping season had some worried that the Blanchette Bridge closure would hurt their bottom line.

But it turned out as the shops filled up, all that worry quickly went out the window.

Bob Levin, owner of All the Glitterz, opened the shiniest store on Main Street about five months ago. It only took him five minutes to realize Friday would be a great day..

“At first I thought there might be a problem with the bridge, but I think people want to get out of here bad enough,” he said.

Combine the Black Friday shopping frenzy with Christmas cheer on every corner, and Main Street was quite busy.

“It’s really special and it really makes you get in the Christmas spirit,” said Manchester resident Dave DeVeydt.

The DeVeydt family has been coming for years. And even though the kids are in college now - and the bridge is partially closed - this year was no different.

“It absolutely didn’t make a difference,” said Spencer. “I just came over on the Page Extension and took the river road. No traffic!”

The city of St. Charles has been preparing for Black Friday and the holiday season for months.

The I-70 access ramp flowed smoothly for most of the day.

And parking spots filled quickly at the major shopping centers just off the interstate, and downtown.

Shoppers and store owners declared Friday a big success, despite the bridge’s closing.

A lot of shoppers on Friday took the alternate routes MoDOT has been recommending, Highway 364 and Highway 370.

Many others took the bridge, which is now limited to three lanes in each direction.