TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- The Sagamore Parkway Bridge, connecting Lafayette and West Lafayette, has finally opened after more than two and a half years under construction. An INDOT spokesperson said both the eastbound and westbound bridges above the Wabash River are open as of Monday afternoon.
This project started back in the spring of 2016 when the current eastbound bridge, built in 1936, was imploded to make way for the current bridge. The spokesperson said the first bridge was built with a steel deck and was at the end of its life cycle.
The right lane of the eastbound bridge is open Monday, but contractors are still working on the other lane. INDOT expects the other lane to be opened within the next seven to ten days.
The next step is to remove the cross overs and remove some concrete barriers.
Many drivers use the Old US 52 and talked to News 18 about its newly constructed lane.
"Super great," said Vonkisha Gibson.
"It'll be a lot easier to get back and forth now," said Eric Weatherford.
"Grateful," said Kevin Taylor. "No more construction. Very very happy. I mean, I just lost a truck to 52 so I'll be happy,"
"Well it looks a lot nicer," said Weatherford. "I like the lights and all that at night, so its just going to be a lot easier to get back and forth from one side to the other."
"We appreciate everyone's patience in going one lane in each direction on one bridge," said INDOT Spokesperson Debbie Calder. "I think it will be a tremendous impact for drivers and make them very happy."
For now, the drivers are happy, but offer advice for their fellow motorists as winter approaches.
"It's about to be icy so stay back," said Taylor. "It's about the best I got for them."
"Once you hit that little bridge over the water it starts to speed up," said Gibson "You just have to keep your foot on the brake."
"Go slow and take your time and watch other drivers," said Weatherford.
Drivers can expect construction on the other side of the bridge to continue through the summer.