With the snip of scissors, one of Nebraska City’s main traffic arteries reopened Monday afternoon.
Nebraska City Streets Commissioner Vic Johns and Mayor Bryan Bequette cut the ribbon during a grand reopening of the 4th Corso viaduct July 1.
“It’s a beautiful and gorgeous afternoon to be here,” said Bequette in his opening remarks for a ceremony that preceded the ribbon cutting.
He welcomed Gov. Pete Ricketts back to his birthplace, calling Ricketts “a Nebraska Citian by birth, and a Nebraska leader by skill and heart.”
“As you all know, this has been a long time in coming,” said Ricketts, noting that the bridge was declared unsafe for cars and pedestrian traffic in 2015.
Reopening the viaduct represented a great accomplishment for the city and the state, said Ricketts, who added that the viaduct will offer increased access not only for Nebraska Citians, but also residents of northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa.
The construction project to replace the viaduct represented a great collaboration between Nebraska City officials and the state of Nebraska, said Ricketts, as well as the Union Pacific Railroad.
“I’m excited to be here today to help celebrate the opening of this,” said Ricketts.
He added that the viaduct carried 4,085 cars daily when it was closed in 2015.
Ricketts thanked the people of Nebraska City for their patience during the viaduct rebuilding, and he congratulated Bequette on “this great day.”
Bequette also thanked the residents of Kearney Hill and the businesses along 4th Corso for their patience.
He acknowledged the work done by former Mayor Jack Hobbie,  former Streets Commissioner Dean Handy, and former Public Properties Manager Dan Giittinger  in starting the work that led to the reconstruction of the viaduct.
Bequette also acknowledged the contributions of Johns, City Administrator Grayson Path, Construction and Facilities Manager Marty Stovall, JEO Consulting, and Alfred Benesch Co. to the viaduct project.
Bequette also expressed his gratitude to Hawkins Construction for their work on the project.
“It was their folks that came in, regardless of the weather, and did the brute force lifting, all the dirt moving and everything, and did it in an absolutely professional manner, working with us every step of the way,” said Bequette. “We appreciate this.”
Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schneweis and  Chris Hawkins, chief executive officer of Hawkins Construction, also spoke at the ceremony.
Watch highlights from the ceremony online at www.ncnewspress.com.