Mayor George Apel on Wednesday, flanked by state officials and construction and engineering officials, officially opened the new Phoenix Street Bridge.
He did so with a wide smile and the traditional huge scissors.
The smile was a sense of pride around the $1.1 million project to restore a piece of one of Vernon's historic mill districts.
And the funding. Federal money paid for 80 percent of the project and two separate state grants furnished two sets of the remaining 20 percent.
The bridge was constructed over the Tankerhoosen River in 1940 and has slowly been deteriorating.
In July of 1994, the state Department of Transportation appropriated money to get the project started. Glastonbury-based Anchor Engineering Services worked on the design phase and the permitting requirements.
Full funding was secured last year and the bidding process began.
Unionville-based Black & Warner Construction Co. won the bid for the bridge project and Milone and MacBroom Inc. of Cheshire performed the inspections.
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