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$6.5 Million Rockwell Avenue Bridge Reopens in Scranton

SCRANTON -- A bridge replacement project that met with delay after delay is finally complete in Scranton.

A fire truck was the first to cross over this new bridge named Gen. Theodore J. Wint Bridge after a native of Scranton, marking an end to emergency crews having to drive around to get where they needed to go.

"When they had this area closed here, you had to go all the way to Wayne Avenue and loop around. Now, I can drive up and right home," said Ron Burkland.

The Rockwell Avenue Bridge, as it was known before, closed in 2012 because of safety concerns after flooding.

At first, the replacement was delayed because of utility lines, then an unexpected oil spill and Department of Environmental Protection investigation slowed things down even more.

At first, the bridge was expected to cost about $1.3 million. The closing cost was $6.5 million dollars with the city of Scranton accounting for about five percent of that. According to city leaders, environmental issues were the leading factor behind the cost increase.

Mark Zubal pulled his son Jackson across the bridge for the first time. Zubal knows he's going to make up a lot of time now with the newly reopened bridge.

"Probably about 10 minutes at least. It was about 5 minutes that way but going to Samario's here, going to anything here, it's a big difference," he said.

For many, this bridge is known as the Rockwell Avenue Bridge but at this reopening, it was officially renamed after Scranton native Gen. Theodore J. Wint.

"Here we are recognizing him after 110 years. It's truly an honor and about veterans and remembering veterans," said James Kuchwara, VFW Post 25.

The bridge is expected to be formally dedicated to Gen. Wint sometime in the near future.

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