Staunton's Sears Hill Bridge Reopens

By: David Coy Email
By: David Coy Email

STAUNTON -- A 107 year old bridge is now re-open for the first time in three years since it was declared unsafe.

In 2010 the Sears Hill Bridge was condemned. People from the city said, the old bridge would move and wobble when someone would walk on it. On Saturday, that bridge was officially restored.

Many people gathered around the Amtrak station for see the ribbon cutting. Among them was life long resident Jane Hanger.

"It's exactly what it was. It doesn't shake. The old bridge needed fixing," said Hanger

The old bridge was condemned, and deemed unsafe. Tom Sheets lead the community effort to restore the bridge. He said,so many emotions rush to him.

"Relief, when you live with something for 2 plus years, you know, it's not part of what you do all the time but it's done it's relief. Then satisfaction. And then today, joy," said Sheets.

Sheets said it's been a long road, but it's not about the bridge.

"To see the people. As we worked through this, it wasn't about the bridge it was about the community," said Sheets.

Sheets has been told many stories about the old bridge. Most of the new bridge is made from the original steel and wood. The city wanted it to look as much like the old one a possible.

"The angles, the elevation, the profile. If you took a picture then and a picture now from the same spot, you could marry them up," said Sheets.

Hanger hopes it will be a part of the community for generations to come.

"They fixed it and we are going to enjoy it for the rest of our lives," said Hanger.

The bridge connects the Sears Hill community to downtown Staunton. People from the community said, it's nice to see the great view of downtown Staunton once again.

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