COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - After two years of construction and repair, the Brown Avenue Bridge in South Columbus is finally back open to traffic.
The city held a ribbon cutting for the reopening of the bridge Monday afternoon.
Construction was completed ahead schedule and now residents who drive or walk can cross the two lane bridge with sidewalks safely.
Horns honked in excitement as the first cars crossed the new and improved Brown Avenue Bridge late Monday afternoon.
"Finally we got the beautiful bridge back in Columbus, Georgia," said resident Rachel Black.
The bridge is now complete following two years of construction, repairs and detours that affected both residents and businesses.
"If you ever took that detour you know how important this bridge is," said GDOT board member Sam Wellborn.
Before the project started, a statewide test on bridges revealed Brown Avenue was one of the most dangerous.
The three-ton weight restriction on the old bridge was only able to handle foot a car traffic.
The new bridge can hold more weight allowing access to all types of vehicles.
"This bridge is here not just for cars, it connects two neighborhoods," said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. "We made certain folks could walk across the bridge and feel safe."
Councilor Mimi Woodson was a driving force behind the $8.4 million project. She says this is a step in the right direction for the renewal of the community.
"All we got to do is close your eyes, look where we came from, look where we are and look we are going and it take everyone to take care of it," Woodson said.
Officials say there are $40 million worth of highway projects happening now in Columbus, including the Eastern connector, Whittlesey Road and Veterans Parkway.
The next project to look out for will be Talbotton Road.