A newly completed bridge was celebrated Tuesday in the Town of Verona. The ceremony marked the completion of the Higginsville Road Bridge.

The original bridge was constructed back in 1908. It was a single lane bridge that was in service until 2008. The completion of construction and reopening of the Higginsville Road Bridge restores an important travel link of the Erica Canal and gives residents of Verona and Vienna a convenient route. It also will allow quicker travel for first-responders and medical personnel. Another benefit of the bridge completion is easier access for travelers to area attractions such as Sylvan Beach and Verona Beach State Park.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez says, "This new bridge reopens an important crossing over the Erie Canal that had been closed for more than a decade, enhancing safety and easing the flow of people and commerce throughout western Oneida County." She also said, "The opening of the new Higginsville Road Bridge sends an important message that New York continues to move forward under Governor Cuomo, not only restoring our infrastructure but building it back better."

While the older structure was a single lane structure, the new bridge is a two lane travel route with five foot shoulders on either side. It's a 230-feet-long steel plate girder bridge and the Town of Verona was awarded $4.8 Million to complete the project. That money was a piece of a $200 Million pie from the 2016 BRIDGE NY program established by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Several local officials were present at Tuesday's ceremony and are excited that this essential travel route is available once again. Senator Joe Griffo says, "I am pleased that the Higginsville Road Bridge, which has been closed since 2008, has reopened. This momentous occasion comes after I met several times with local officials and continuously advocated that the state Department of Transportation make this project a priority and ensure it be undertaken. The completion of this long-awaited project will make life easier for the residents, first responders, motorists and communities that have been negatively affected by the bridge’s closure for so long."