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Conn. DOT Holds Bridge Party For Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge Grand Opening

If you were driving on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, (or, as locals call it, the Quinnipiac River, or Q, Bridge) on I-95 in New Haven on Saturday afternoon, you may have seen an unusual sight. Thousands of people walked across the newly completed southbound side, where three new lanes are opening up Sept. 28.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation had invited residents to the bridge’s Grand Opening celebration. Or, a bridge party- complete with food trucks, ice cream, and views of the Quinnipiac River that commuter Barb Nangel said she’d probably never get to see again.

"It’s really cool for me to be able to be a pedestrian where I’ve been driving for years," she said. "Just to see these beautiful views of New Haven and just to know for years to come I will be driving. I will never be walking here again, ever."

Nangel lives in New Haven, and she comes downtown on the bridge nearly every day for work or church. She’s been seeing the progress on the bridge from afar when she drives by, but now she saw it up close.

"I’ve been watching this project for 7 years being constructed, and it’s been an engineering marvel," she said. "And I’m totally psyched that there’s going to be much less traffic."

The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, at the junction of I-91 and I-95, has been a traffic bottleneck for many years. When the bridge is finished it will run five lanes in each direction.