The Davitt Memorial Bridge in Chicopee is set to open on Wednesday. The project has been completed almost two years ahead of its original schedule.
"This bridge is one of the most remarkable projects that anyone will ever see in the Commonwealth. A bridge that was going to take three years, 36 months, is completed in 14," said Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette.
Bissonnette says the $8 million project is 99 percent complete. He says it's a project that was greatly needed in the city.
"It was an unsafe bridge," said Bissonnette. "The problem with the bridge is that it had to be replaced due to structural unsoundness."
Workers spent 60 hours a week, including Saturdays, on the project. It was a big reason that the bridge was finished so far ahead of schedule.
"To be honest with you I feel like I live here," said carpenter and foreman, Scott Pascale. "I've been here 10 hours a day since last June. I guess that's what it takes."
And the reopening of the bridge is welcome news to local businesses like Quicky's family restaurant.
"So now it's just going to be that much easier for us. Instead of going all the way around up on the highway they can just cut right over the bridge, get to Granby Road, Chicopee Street, that whole area we are doing business with. It's going to be a lot easier for people to get here and for us to get to them," said Brian O'Connor, the owner and manager of Quicky's.
It's a sentiment many other businesses in the area agree with as well.
"I'm excited because it will bring more traffic, more traffic is more business, and more business is more money," said the owner of T & R Mini Mart.
A dedication ceremony for the new bridge will be held in November on Veteran's Day. The mayor says the ceremony will pay tribute to Father Davitt who was the last officer to die in World War 1.
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Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:08 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:08:09 GMT
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