WARREN - When Sam Procopio and his son Stephen start shouting encouragement for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish while watching the game inside their Triangle Inn tavern, it's tough to hear the game on the widescreen TV.
The Triangle isn't the biggest sports bar in the Warren area. It might be the loudest though, especially when Notre Dame and Stanford go into overtime.
With a name fashioned out of the strange intersection of Logan Avenue, Niles Road and the old section of U.S. Route 422 that forms a triangular lot that the bar sits on, the family-owned watering hole is perhaps one of the last remaining of its kind that has been in the same bloodline since it was opened 75 years ago.
Workers with Marucci and Gaffney Inc. of Youngstown removed wooden forms Monday afternoon from the underside of the new U.S. Route 422 bridge. The reconstructed bridge is on schedule to reopen this month.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
And since May, the Triangle has seen more than its share of a drive-by motorists while the Warren Boulevard bridge has undergone reconstruction.
The construction project has forced a throwback to the past when the Triangle greeted travelers from Niles or Youngstown into downtown Warren.
''The reason they built that (Warren Boulevard) bridge was because of the railroad tracks the run just after Diane Sauer (Chevrolet dealership). You know they always said no one would rob a bank in downtown Warren because they couldn't be assured of a safe getaway. There was always a train at the crossing when the steel mills were at full steam,'' said retired defense attorney Tony Consoldane, who was sampling a chili dog at the Triangle on Sunday, watching the Cleveland Browns get their first win of the season.
Sam Procopio said he's seen business pick up a little since the bridge work started and the added traffic started.
The 75th anniversary of the business prompted Procopio to erect a sign near the point of the triangular lot, only to see it run over by a motorist within days.
But the sign was re-built by Triangle regular Jim Greer right across the street from an old caboose that advertises Truck Electric Service.
At the other end of the leg of the old federal highway, Warren Glass and Paint owner Bill Casey said he hasn't noticed any more walk-in customers.
''Of course, we're more of a destination here. We don't really depend on the walk-ins. We have noticed the traffic though. Sometimes it's 90 mph,'' he said.
Next door to Casey, Ron Fenstermaker at Valley Telecom said his business that once housed a construction contractor is tough to get in and out of.
''We see traffic backed up. It was quiet. This summer I stopped bringing my dog to work. If he took off after a squirrel or a cat, with that traffic, he'd be a gonner,'' Fenstermaker said.
His business sits right next to where the newly built bicycle path crosses old U.S. 422 and across a span over Warren Boulevard where the old section connects with Youngstown Road S.E. at Laird Avenue S.E.
For the next week or two until the bridge is expected to open, residents in their older homes sit on front porches and watch the cars go by the way they used to before the bridge was built in the 1970s as the major artery in and out of downtown Warren.
The bridge improvement project carries a $1.3 million price tag.
Work on the bridge over the Ohio Central Rail line included reconstruction or replacement of the bridge deck, approach slabs, walls, pavement and guard rails. The work is being funded by state and federal funds, with no local share in this project, and is being overseen by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Crews shut down the road in May and began hanging steel support beams for that bridge deck in August. On Monday guardrails were up and the pavement was being cleaned in anticipation of the opening.