LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) -
After more than two years of construction and detours, frequent trains will no longer stand in the way of drivers in Lebanon. The 10th Street bridge is now open.
Tuesday evening, city leaders held a dedication ceremony for the bridge.
The 10th Street bridge is part two of a two-part project. It carries traffic into the city. The 9th Street bridge opened last year, which carries traffic out of the city.
The bridges take traffic up and over the railroad tracks. An average of sixty trains run through Lebanon every day.
"Cuts the city in half. And when a train goes by with 200 cars in it severs the entire city and there's not a street in the city that's not affected," said Gordon Kirkessner with the Public Works Department.
City residents said it is about time the problem is fixed.
"it was necessary because I was on the ambulance for twelve years 20 some years ago. we always had problems getting from the north side to the south side," said Lewis Carpenter.
That was the driving force behind the bridge project because during an emergency, every second counts.
"When your heart stops beating and you stop breathing you have six minutes to bring that person back, six minutes to get them breathing," Carpenter said.
Public Safety Director, Duane Trautman, said the new bridges will also help response times to fires.
"There's no doubt about it it's going to make a difference especially in the middle of the night when traffic is less," Trautman said. "But it's everything because there are a lot of scenarios where we're going to calls that are east."