JIM THORPE, Pa. -- A project 25 years in the making is almost finished.
Officials with the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor celebrated the first crossing and dedication of the Mansion House Bridge in Jim Thorpe on Monday morning.
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Today's Mansion House Bridge dedication ceremony is the culmination of more than two decades of dreams, risks, solid planning and hard work. Thank you to everyone who helped make this momentous occasion possible. History happens today in Jim Thorpe! #dltrail #dl30 #carboncounty
The nearly $4 million project will connect 58 miles of the D&L walking and biking trail that goes through Carbon, Luzerne, and Lehigh counties.
Work on the bridge began late last year.
Members of an organized Rails to Trails bike ride were the first to cross the new bridge.
"Oh, I love it. I just can't wait until it's totally complete, and we can go all the way to Allentown," said Jim Thorpe resident William Solomon.
"I ride bikes with a bunch of people from Jim Thorpe. We are actually part of the Jim Thorpe cycling team. This bridge is like huge for me to be able to come up, ride with my team, and not have to bring my car," said Michele Fisher of Whitehall.
The project is about 90 percent complete. There is still a little more work to be done, but the plan is to have it finished in the coming months.
Elissa Garofalo is the executive director of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and one of the driving forces behind getting this bridge in place.
"This has been one particular project that has been a long time coming and a lot of passion and hard work put into this to get us to this point," said Garofalo.
The bridge remains closed to the public after the ceremony as crews are finishing work on parts of the trail nearby.
The whole project is expected to be complete in six months.