Officials from both sides of the river gathered at noon on Wednesday, November 23 to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony that officially opened the new Ironton-Russell Bridge. The event was held amid much fanfare as the two communities turned out in force to celebrate.

Boy Scout Troop 106, carrying the American and state flags, two police cruisers, one from Ironton and one from Russell, the Ironton Fire Department and the Ironton High School varsity singers and marching band helped lead a parade of locals across the new bridge, followed by a line of classic cars.

“This is a day of thanksgiving for all that are here and who travel in the region,” said Ohio Department of Transportation assistant director of transportation policy and chief engineer, Jim Barna.

Completion of this nearly two-decade process, from original planning through construction is set to wrap up in the summer of 2017 with the final demolition of the old bridge.