Traffic is now flowing again across the Milton-Madison Bridge.
MADISON, IN (WAVE) – The Milton-Madison Bridge is back open and traffic is flowing freely. This means no more hour-long commutes for people who live in the area.
Structural engineers inspected the bridge and on Thursday night, they gave it the stamp of approval. It's been almost 24 hours since it has reopened and drivers and small business owners say, they could not be more thrilled.
Take a stroll down Main Street in Madison, Indiana and you'll find more than dozen locally owned businesses.
Tucked in the center of it all sits Wanda's Gifts, a life long dream owner Wanda Gross opened more than two decades ago.
"I will go as long as I can I'm almost 74 and I'll go until my health won't let me any longer," said Gross.
These last few months have been pretty tough on Gross and her shop. "You know, you go days with nothing, so it was really way down," said Gross.
First it was the brutal winter and then the Milton-Madison Bridge closed earlier and longer than expected after a construction accident.
Gross' profits were cut by 75 percent. She had to dip into her retirement fund to pay the store's bills.
"I do have a lot of my customers coming from Kentucky and so I'm thrilled to death that we are back open, we'll get back to normal and everything will be great," said Gross.
She certainly isn't the only one in town glad to see traffic moving across the Ohio.
"I always come down in the morning and get me some coffee and I drove over and turned around and come back, kind of silly, but I did," said resident David Liter.
Over in Milton, Kentucky drivers say finally they will be able to cut down on gas.
"I know they had a couple of hiccups along the way, but for the most part now that it is completed I think it is going to help both side the Indiana side and the Kentucky side," said driver Wayne Carter.
The bridge opened one week after the historic slide. It's twice as big as the old one.
"It was well worth the wait," said Liter. "It's a beautiful bridge, I'm tickled to death."
Technically the bridge is still a work zone, so the bridge sits at 20 mph. There is still some painting to be done and soon crews will finish a five foot wide sidewalk that is expected open this summer.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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