September 17, 2017 10:39 PM
The Highway 53 bridge officially opened to cars late Saturday night. On Sunday, everyone got their first test drive on the long awaited road.
The new bridge has been two years in the making and after the dedication on Friday, Mother Nature delayed it one more time.
"Some people think it's been a long and arduous project," Larry Cuffe, the Mayor of Virginia, said. "It's been more inconvenient than anything else."
The rain held up the final touches on that were needed on the road.
"You hear on the radio that it's going to be open on Friday, so I was going to go to Herberger's on Saturday morning and thought I could drive over the new bridge," Beveryly Wingren, of Virginia, said. "So I go, 'Oh no, really it's not?"
"The anticipation of getting this bridge open, we were anxious about it, we all were about how all of this was going to move forward," Cuffe said.
The road opened late Saturday night and drivers were thrilled.
"Oh my God, we've been waiting two years for this," Wingren said. "It's wonderful."
"People are just happy it's done and they can just go about their business to the Iron Range communities," David Mattile, of Virginia, said.
Not only is the road open to drivers, it's open to pedestrians as well. They also will add a snowmobile and ATV trail.
"I just can't wait to get out here everyday to walk it," Wingren said.
There's still a little more work to do on the 2nd Ave. exit and Highway 135, but crews are working hard.
"Within the next eight to 10 days, hopefully it'll be fully open, weather permitting," Cuffe said.
They're hoping this new road will be a bridge to the future of the Iron Range communities.
"It's just an exciting time for all of us," Cuffe said.
Updated: September 17, 2017 10:39 PM
Created: September 17, 2017 06:35 PM
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