Centralia Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cutting for new Route 161 bridge

Centralia Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cutting for new Route 161 bridge

The ribbon is officially cut to symbolically represent the opening of the Crooked Creek Bridge on Route 161.   Photo by Pat Hodges.

The Centralia Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning for the new Route 161 Bridge over Crooked Creek.

Executive Director Marcus Holland thanked Poettker Construction Company and the Illinois Department of Transportation for completing the 11 month project on time.

“They were great to work with every step of the way.  They were very commutative making sure we knew what was going to happen and what was expected and what would or would not be able to work.”

IDOT representative Kirk Brown remembers the April 2018 meeting where seven engineers were given the task of reducing the project from 2 and a half years to 11 months.

“You remember the old bridge…finger crossed we believe this bridge will be one that we will not have to stand here and have this conversation again for.”

Centralia Mayor Herb Williams is pleased to see the project done.

“Businesses going down and coming out are finally so happy to get this open and will help them tremendously and I want to say thank you to the construction company and everybody that put forth such an effort to make this day a possibility and help Centralia to continue to grow.”

Williams thanked former Mayor Tom Ashby and City Manager Dan Ramey for their hard work on compressing the length of the project.

Holland is thankful the project was completed in time for the holiday shopping season not only for local residents but those who will travel through on the road.

The bridge was officially opened for traffic on Friday morning.