KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – After 15 months of detours, the Queen Street Bridge in Lenoir County is finally back open.
On Monday, crews put on the finishing touches, refreshing the lines on the road and registering the traffic lights.
The span opened up to drivers around 3 p.m.
Mills International owner David Mills said he is ready for business to return to normal.
“It’s going to make it easier for our customers to come to us through that direction,” said Mills. “To me, that’s only going to help.”
Mills sells lawnmowers as well as large agricultural equipment, and he said it has been a stressful 15 months.
“Just sales down like $2 million for the year,” said Mills. “So yeah that’s a good amount of money.”
Queen Street Deli owner Leraine Talston said she feels the same way.
“Mainly the people that came through were visitors that came on Queen Street, so we are hoping more visitors,” Talston said.
Drivers said the road re-opening is going to cut their commute time and save them money on gas.
With the Queen Street Bridge now open, it could also decrease the time it takes first responders to get to you.
Lenoir County Emergency Management director Roger Dail said the detour slowed down response times due to a heavy traffic flow on Skinner’s Bypass.
“It will save minutes for us, and it will allow the city fire departments to get to all of those areas that rely on the other departments to get to first, and so it will save them a lot of time,” said Dail.
Dail said when the bridge was closed they installed a device on red lights to change when emergency crews were coming.
He said the devices are staying on lights to help with response times.