A modern, two-lane, concrete bridge that provides improved service to residents of Pictou County was officially opened today, Feb. 5. The new Durham Bridge across the West River of Pictou is 46 metres long and cost $1,650,000. It replaces a single-lane bridge that had height restrictions. Work on the new bridge started in June 2006 and was completed in December. It was built by Alva Construction Ltd. of Antigonish. “This bridge is part of the shortest route to New Glasgow, Stellarton and Westville for people who live on the west side of the river,” Transportation and Public Works Minister Angus MacIsaac said at a brief opening ceremony. “It also provides the most direct route to the Aberdeen Hospital.” The project provided an estimated 7,000 person-hours of employment and structural steel for the new bridge was purchased from Maritime Steel and Foundaries Ltd. of New Glasgow. The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro, and Sydney.