SALEM — A customer walked into Cosgrove Liquors on Bridge Street yesterday afternoon and made an announcement to the clerk behind the counter.

“It’s so quiet,” said Joe Gauvain, gesturing with his head to the road outside. “No traffic.”

That certainly was one reaction to day one of the Bridge Street bypass road. The new state roadway between Veterans Memorial Bridge and downtown Salem has removed a lot of cars and noise from busy Bridge Street and replaced it with — if not peace and quiet, at least a little less racket.

But it was not the only reaction.

“I think it stinks,” said Kevin Kilker, whose third-floor deck on Ames Street overlooks the new road. “And I guarantee there’s going to be a fatality up there.”

The response to the one-mile state road along the North River seems to depend on vantage point. For residents who live near the new road, life just got a lot noisier. For anyone out on Bridge Street, where traffic has been cut in half, it’s quieter.

Of course, the reduced traffic poses different concerns for businesses.

Although the Clipper Ship Inn on Bridge Street gets advance bookings, it also counts on tourists who drive past the front door. Not only is traffic reduced now, an administrator at the motel said, but the sign motorists see as they come over the bridge doesn’t say Salem. It says Swampscott.

“We are concerned (business) is going to bypass us,” Clipper Ship manager Suzanne Sullivan said.

Those worries aren’t shared by the Ninety Nine Restaurant across the street, which, a manager said, is a destination for many customers.

“Whether we have a bypass (or not), they’re still going to keep coming,” said Wilson Figueroa, the kitchen manager.

The Massachusetts Highway Department was praised at Monday’s ribbon-cutting for building a $15 million roadway with views of the North River, rows of trees and shrubs, and sound barriers to shield residents who live along the road.

Sam Zocco, who lives on March Street Court, was impressed with the hard work by the contracting crew who built the road, but not by the final product — and not by the sound barrier across from his house.

“I think it was a waste of money,” he said, “and the sound barrier doesn’t do nothing. But I guess it’s progress.”

The state is about to plant a row of trees next to the wall, and Zocco admitted that may help a little. “Once the trees are in, it will look nice around here. Only thing is we’ve got to get used to the noise.”

Greg Buxton moved into Jefferson at Salem Station two months ago. The road goes right through the middle of the large apartment and townhouse complex.

“It’s pretty loud,” he said. “I’m glad we put our bedroom on the front side of the apartment.”

The real beneficiaries are the commuters who no longer have to battle the traffic on congested Bridge Street.

“I just breezed through (the bypass road),” said Rob DeSalvo, a Beverly resident who is president of RMD Media in Shetland Park. “There was hardly a single car going past me in either direction.”

If there is any consensus, it is that time will tell. This is August, many people are still away on vacation, and the road may not be getting a true test. Dave Brennan, the owner of Cosgrove Liquors, guessed it may take about two months for a verdict.

“How it will ultimately affect my business, I probably won’t know until then,” he said.

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