Franklin Road Bridge set to open in one week

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The wait is almost over.

"I didn't know it was happening until just recently; I thought it was going to be a lot longer," said Mike Parker, a Roanoke resident.

For the last 2 years and 2 months almost 10,000 drivers have been detoured through South Jefferson Street, while the Franklin Road bridge has been under construction.

The Wines' family is excited about its reopening.

"It'll cut our time by 10 minutes, going to school in the morning, because I take my daughter over to Monterey Elementary. So it'll definitely save us some time," said John Wines.

Other drivers said it could even help businesses.

"A lot of people in my area of town use the Franklin Rd. Bridge to get over to certain parts of downtown Roanoke. We use it to get over to the Kirk Family YMCA and the Big Lick Brewery and places like that that are a little bit more accessible across the bridge," said Parker.

It was originally set to open in January, but Hurricane Florence and Michael delayed that.

Many have even gotten used to the detour, so the opening could be a learning curve for some drivers.

"Yeah, it'll definitely be getting used to, I've always drove down you know the main 581 and seen it, I've always been curious about driving on it," said driver Allen Slaydon.

But across the board, the reaction is positive.

The grand opening of the bridge will take place at 11:30AM on Friday, March 22. There will be a dedication ceremony and a ribbon cutting.