When tropical storm Irene blew through Windsor county, she dumped inches of rain and the Mill Brook soon overflowed her banks. The water was so high and so fast, that the Bowers bridge was swept downstream several hundred yards. But there was hope. It was not ruined and Saturday evening, they came to celebrate.
"It has been a long process but the end result is great," said West Windsor Selectman Glenn Seward.
"What did it take," asked Channel 3's Marselis Parsons.
"A lot of effort," Steward said. By a lot of people. Especially local people as well as FEMA and the state of Vermont."
Those two, FEMA and the state, contributed 95 percent of the quarter million dollar cost of repair. Some on Saturday remembered the inconvenience of having the bridge out.
"People had to go around. A little bit inconvenient but it's not a big deal. It's just nice to have it back. I've never known the road here to not have a bridge so its interesting," said Amy Yates of the Brownsville General Store.
It was an inconvenience, but it was important to these people to rebuild their connection.
"We are so lucky to have an incredible talent like Steve Bodley in our midst to undertake the bridge rebuilding," Steward said to a round of applause.
"The whole cover was replaced," Bodley said. "I did repair work underneath which was replace timbers and things like that. But, that all qualifies for being part of a restoration. The actual historic part of this are the two arches and the two chords," he continued. "The arches are attached to two large scissor braces which keep the whole frame from rocking. Similar the ones above. And some of the floor joists are the original ones."
With descendants of the original builder, Bowers and Bodley wielding the scissors, they reopened this span.
Shortly after six o'clock Saturday, the ceremony over. They reopened the bridge to traffic.