Rainsville officials held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday to officially open the long-awaited, newly renovated Chavies Bridge.

Rainsville Mayor Roger Lingerfelt expressed his thanks and spoke of the officials who commenced the process to secure the grant for the bridge.

"We probably could never have done the bridge without them; they did a great job," he said.

He said although the project went on for a long time and it really didn't move much, in 2016 when [the Rainsville City Council] came into office that was one of their projects to try and accomplished.

"We sat forward and started that project, and we worked hard it, and I am proud of everything that was accomplished," Lingerfelt said.

Lingerfelt said they spent right at $3 million on the Chavies Bridge project.

He said it was a “really good project” and he was proud of it, the council, the community and everybody working together.

“For everybody that was inconvenienced in this project there was [also] a lot of people who had patience, and I really appreciate the community having patience with us,” said Lingerfelt.

The original Chavies Bridge dates back to more than 100 years and has since been renovated at least twice.

Lingerfelt commented at Wednesday's ribbon cutting that the bridge connects the City of Rainsville to Fort Payne in the event of a closure of the new Alabama Highway 35.

The Rainsville City Council empowered the former Major Nick Jones to sign a CDG agreement for the Chavies Bridge project in October of 2013.

Along with the concern for safety, the bridge was too narrowed for modern vehicles.

The original grant for the project was awarded in 2012 and was funded through the Alabama Transportation and Rehabilitation Improvements Program.

On September of 2018, measures were taken toward the project with the approval by the council enabling Eli's Tree Service to clear the area around the bridge to allow the city to connect utilities.

Earlier this year, Councilman Bejan Taheri said the bridge construction was a 145-day project and the crew had 40 working days charged to the contractor.

The project was expected to be completed earlier this summer but was delayed due to the weather conditions earlier in the year.

The newly rebuilt bridge was widened to two-lanes and opened Wednesday.

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