The $24 million new bridge was built by Columbus, Ohio-based Kokosing Construction, Inc. Since January, Nitro and St. Albans residents have had no direct way to reach people and businesses on either side of the bridge.
"It has been a big inconvenience," Casebolt said. "It has had an impact on our commerce for sure. But, we definitely needed a new bridge."
Casebolt said that while the last 10 months have been difficult for residents and businesses, the new bridge should increase commerce for Nitro and increase safety.
"That's our No. 1 accident spot in town," he said of the intersection of the bridge and W.Va. 25.
Casebolt said projections are for traffic on the bridge to grow from 19,000 cars per day to 23,000 cars per day over several years.
Over the Kanawha in St. Albans, Callaway echoed Casebolt.
"With the bridge opening, it's going to be real convenient for our citizens," Callaway said. "People get to use much more easily. I think it will mean a lot to use to bring folks into our community."
Callaway also indicated to the communities, the bridge is more than just a structure -- it's a symbol for both cities.
"It'll be good to be able to feel like home again," he said.
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.