Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Tomahawk opens. - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Tomahawk opens.

TOMAHAWK (WAOW) -- The Veteran's Memorial Bridge is now open and many locals say they're happy about it. For many drivers in Tomahawk, it's been a long nine months of construction.

"The bridge being closed has been a pain in the butt, because you have to go all the way around town, and go all the way around back," said Tomahawk resident Julie Gedde.

With the Veterans Memorial Bridge shut down, drivers had to take the long way, Highway 51, to get to the other side town.

"I just did a 20 minute drive, yepp, just to do laundry," said Nathan Cox.

While the construction may have caused headaches for drivers it also hurt local businesses.

"It got real bad. It was especially hard in the winter," said Amber Anderson with the Rodeo Saloon.

Amber Anderson works at the Rodeo Saloon downtown. She said she thinks it was the inconvenient detour that turned people away. But she, and several other residents said they couldn't be happier to see those barricades disappear and cars driving across the brand new bridge.

"With it opening up, it's going to cut time by a lot" said Julie Gedde.

 Mike Tolvstead with the City of Tomahawk says the 7 million dollar project to replace the 88-year old bridge was well worth it.

 "Very well spent, obviously this is the main artery of the community," said Mike Tolvstead.

Local businesses said they're glad the city is finally connected again, and hope to get back on track.

"Hoping to see people that we haven't seen much of, and I'm hoping that people who used to come on a more frequent basis start coming back," said Anderson.

There will be an opening ceremony for the bridge Wednesday night at the new pavilion in Memorial Park at 5:00pm.

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