REDDING, Conn. – Redding's reopened Simpaug Turnpike Bridge got the official green light Wednesday morning when state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker cut a yellow ribbon in front of a festive gathering.
First Selectman Natalie Ketcham, State Rep. John Shaban and State Sen. Toni Boucher were on hand, along with a few town citizens, including Elaine Kokoska. Reopening the bridge was important, Kokoska said, “because it connects West Redding with the other side of town and makes it easier for the Fire Department.”
Boucher said, “Bridges are very important and this one should last for a century, and the appearance is much improved."
The bridge had been closed since Oct. 10, 2011, and its reopening was delayed. “We struggled to get it done due to weather-related delays and construction problems,” Redeker said.
The state paid $3 million to complete the job, he said.
“We see something come to fruition, which is important to the community. It’s a great day to have it done, or almost done,” he said.
His “almost done” was a reference to landscaping and staining of the stone facade, which continues while the bridge is open to traffic.