Lantana bridge set to open in two weeks, businesses and fisherman excited

LANTANA, Fla. - It's lunch time at the Kona Bay cafe.

The food and the servers are ready.

But most of the chairs are empty. It's a typical day at the cafe in Lantana.

"30 percent down in sales in the first year, and in the second year we went down 40 percent in sales," said Holly Klingenstein.

It's been a grim time for the restaurants along Ocean Ave in Lantana.

Shops have closed, workers have been laid off.

Kona Bay closed at 2 in the afternoon instead of 3.

"We took a whole hour off of our shifts, and we would only make $20 in sales that final hour," said Holly Klingenstein.

But that will soon change.

The 32 million dollar Lantana bridge is expected to open in mid-November, 4  months earlier than predicted.

"This is great because this means all the businesses on both sides of the bridge will be available for when tourist season comes," said Mayor David Stewart.

The original 62-year-old bridge was demolished in 2012 to make room for the new bridge.

While the construction work has been underway, customers were scared of it, and that's not all.

"All the noise all the banging, it scared a lot of the fish away," said Barry Scheckner

Scheckner fishes everyday right next to the new bridge.

He's looking forward to crossing the new bridge and getting to the ocean.

"The ocean is beautiful what's there not to like," said Scheckner.

For fisherman, and businesses, they say the day couldn't come sooner.

"Its going to be amazing when that thing starts running , we're going to get so busy, it's really exciting," said Klingenstein.

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