Contractor Remembered as New Bridge Opens in Scranton

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SCRANTON -- It's a day drivers in Scranton have been waiting a long time for -- the new Harrison Avenue Bridge opened to traffic Friday morning. It replaces an old bridge that's almost 100 years old.

With the snip of a ribbon, the new Harrison Avenue Bridge was open to traffic.

There was a bit more fanfare when the original bridge was opened back in 1920, but drivers in 2017 let PennDOT know they approve

The new bridge which took about three years and $30 million to build was designed to mimic the 1920s art deco style of the original.

PennDOT officials say you can expect about another year's worth or construction as crews begin to demolish the old Harrison Avenue Bridge and make repairs to the Central Scranton Expressway below.

PennDOT says the old bridge will come down piece by piece before a partial implosion next summer. Traffic patterns are expected to go back to normal by this time next year.

The new bridge was a labor of love for the Minichello family.

Marc Minichello, owner of the project's contractor Minichi Contracting Group passed away suddenly during the project's home stretch.

Marc's wife and two children took the first trip across.

"He always wanted to do things to help the towns and the communities to make them better, so it's very emotional, it's even hard to talk about," Paula Minichello.

So, while this represents a connection for the city of Scranton, for the Minichello's it's a father's legacy.

contractor's daughter

"This bridge is making everyone realize what kind of person my dad was and even if they didn't know him, they know what kind of person he was to everyone," said his daughter Antonia Minichello.

"To have so many people travel across this bridge every day is truly an honor to be a part of that," said his son Marc Anthony Minichello.

Harrison Avenue heads into the next century.

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