Monroe County Bridge Reopened
STROUDSBURG -- A project that has tied up traffic for a year and a half in Monroe County finally came to an end Monday. Stroudsburg has its 7th Street bridge back.To some people, this was just a bridge opening, but for the people who lived through 18 months of detours and delays, this was a big deal.With a band and a ribbon cutting, the re-constructed 7th Street Bridge in Stroudsburg opened around 10:30 a.m.Rilla Saunders came to experience the moment.“I'm excited. I'm excited. I can say for the citizens of stroudsburg, we are excited. I'm telling you, most of the senior citizens and others, we're excited!”For 18 months, Saunders was forced to drive blocks out of her way, often through heavy traffic.The reconstruction project was an inconvenience to drivers. Newswatch 16 has been documenting that for the past year and a half, but it was also a headache for people who want to merely walk around the neighborhood.That includes Lynn Speaker from Reeders, and her friends.“It's been an inconvenience but we made the best of it, as did everyone else,” said Reeders.It's often said timing is everything. The branch of First Northern Bank and Trust opened just as the bridge closed in the summer of 2011.“It's been very quiet in this part of Stroudsburg, so this is the lifeline into this end of Stroudsburg so we're very thrilled to have the bridge open again,” said Michael Harleman of First Northern Bank and Trust.The new $8 million bridge over McMichael Creek and Interstate 80, features new railings and lights.The new bridge replaces one that was built back in the 1930s, a bridge PennDOT deemed as structurally deficient.