Hundreds celebrate opening of Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The construction on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge is finally over and hundreds showed up for the opening celebration.

Folks got a chance to walk across it before their cars ever hit the pavement there. The unveiling of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge is what many who’ve spent years in traffic almost daily have been waiting for.

“It’s been a long time coming to see our tax dollars hard at work completing this bridge,”said Jonathan Berryman, New Haven.

And these words from the Department of Transportation make Saturday’s dedication even more rewarding

“People’s commute should get better through here. We really anticipate that,” said Berryman.

The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge controls the flow of traffic of 95 and 91 in and around New Haven The original bridge was built in 1958 and saw about 40,000 vehicles a day. Now, the DOT says this bridge sees 140,000 vehicles a day

Before the bridge officially opens to traffic, Saturday was about giving people a chance to walk or bike across and see the completion. There were even a couple of veterans there who survived the Pear Harbor attack. The signature design of the bridge was designed to pay tribute to the attack.

“So the pile ons and the towers are actually shaped like smoke stacks a little bit and actually the cables can also signify a bit of a sail look to it, so it’s basically a nautical motif,” said John Dunham, Asst. District Eng Dept. “This has what we call a one hundred year life expectancy, so that’s how we design it. Doesn’t mean there won’t be any maintenance over that time, but we expect it to last that long with the materials we incorporated into it.”

“To see this bottleneck opened up means the rest of us who travel in any direction should have an easier time getting to and fro,” said Berryman.

Next Sunday, the bridge will open to traffic on the southbound side. Then, by 6 in the morning Monday the bridge will be open in both directions.

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