Thousands of people dressed in costumes packed the new Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge as part of the ‘Walk the Bridge' party. Thursday night was the first time the bridge was opened to the public since construction in January.
13 News met hundreds of people walking the bridge, including Kathy Jones and her 3-year-old grandson Liam. Walking hand-in-hand, the two ventured from the Nitro side to the St. Albans side.
"This is a big day to finally get to walk on it," said Kathy Jones, of Nitro, West Virginia.
The bridge connecting St. Albans to Nitro has been closed since January. Construction crews demolished the old structure built in 1934, in March, and spent months rebuilding the new one. Now, the bridge is complete and is ahead of schedule by three weeks.
"We watched them tear it down and watched them build it up, step by step," said Jones.
Every two weeks Jones took her grandson to the construction site. Wearing his own hard-hat and playing with his toy trucks, Liam watched the bridge be built from the ground up.
"We came so often he became acquainted with a lot of workers on the bridge," said Jones.
Which is why she said a day like today brought smiles to his face.
On Thursday, people were able to walk across the new bridge. In addition to celebrating the bridge's completion, pedestrians celebrated Halloween. Trick or treating along the bridge's railing, in between the Nitro side and the St. Albans side. More than a thousand people took advantage of this.
The bridge will have an official ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, November 1, around 11:30. Both mayors of Nitro and St. Albans will be in attendance along with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.