More than five years after the state closed down a historic bridge over the Ohio River, Portsmouth, Ohio officials are expressing relief that its upgraded replacement opened Monday.
The Ohio Department of Transportation shut down the old U.S. Grant Bridge in July 2001 to begin a three-year project to dismantle and replace it with a wider bridge that can handle heavier loads.
But the department said the project was delayed because of design problems, the weather and high water.
Council members said the delay hurt businesses in downtown Portsmouth, about 85 miles south of Columbus.
Councilman Bob Mollette said it might take time for business to rebound because travelers are so accustomed to using the nearby Carl Perkins Bridge, where traffic was rerouted.
Mollette said he approves of the replacement bridge, which connects Portsmouth to South Shore, Kentucky.