'It's a mess': Barrie Transit users frustrated with Anne Street bridge construction

Spring construction is in full force, with detours and delays hard to avoid, but according to one Barrie Transit rider, the Anne Street bridge project is a source of real frustration.

"It's a mess. That's what it is one big mess," said transit user Ruth James.

Construction started on the Anne Street bridge last weekend, closing the road from Edgehill Drive to Donald Street.

"If you want to go over to the plaza, well, that's almost impossible. You have to go all the way downtown first," James said.

A new transit route with free fare is supposed to help riders navigate the detour, but that isn't scheduled to start right away.

"We don't know to take this bus or that bus or where it's going to take us or this bus over there to take us down there. We don't know nothing," added transit user Zorba Therrien.

The City of Barrie said construction was scheduled to start next week, but the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) moved up the date.

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to set an implementation date of June 6, the MTO changed their start day, and they had to implement a week sooner than we had planned," said Barrie Transit supervisor Jason Zimmerman.

Until then, riders will have to transfer from one route to the next to get from one side of the bridge to the other.

The city says people can board the bus for free either on Edgehill Drive or Wellington Street, but the direct route around construction won't start until Sunday.

The Anne Street bridge project is expected to take 18 months to complete.