By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Frigid winds and swirling snow didn’t dampen the celebration Monday when a new bridge reopened and restored a city’s East End and North Side link to the outside world.
A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of the new Grant Street Bridge, a steel and concrete span which replaced the old bridge that was closed in June 2019 after it failed a state safety inspection. This closure and the old bridge’s demolition cut off the City of Bluefield’s East End and North Side residents from easy access to Princeton Avenue, the downtown and the rest of Mercer County.
Residents had to use a narrow and winding road to do their shopping and commuting. Khadijah Wahid of Wayne Street watched from a vantage point on Princeton Avenue as people gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“I’m happy it’s opening,” Wahid said, adding that she had to dodge potholes and deer on the long alternate route. “This will take 10 minutes off my trip, so that will help a lot.”
Resident Carole Bekono said the new bridge means she can get to church earlier and avoid a long drive around a mountain to get to and from her destinations.