The new Snowy Range Road Bridge is now open at of 11:05 a.m. this morning. Wyoming Department of Transportation and City of Laramie officials held the grand opening ceremonies at the top of the bridge Monday morning to officially open the bridge for traffic.

WYDOT Director Bill Panos said the bridge was the culmination of years of work, with meetings discussing the new bridge beginning in 1997.

Panos praised the hard work of the men and women who worked hard to make the bridge a reality, ahead of schedule and under-budget.

"This is what $23.5 million buys," Panos told those in attendance."So when we start talking about other highways and projects, use this as a comparison."

WYDOT Chief Engineer Gregg Fredrick said the project began over twenty years ago with a viaduct review committee.

"Today we stand on a state of the art bridge," Fredrick said. "But this bridge is about more than engineering, it's about community. This bridge connects a community."

Fredrick said the bridge recognizes the importance of other modes of transportation and has included wide sidewalks that provide for safe walking and biking.

Mayor Andi Summerville said there was huge amount of community input that helped shape the bridge.

The old Clark Street Bridge closed immediately after the Snowy Range Road Bridge opened, and WYDOT information specialist Matt Murphy said demolition of the Clark Street Bridge will begin this week.