Ribbon cut on U.S. 340 bridge over Shenandoah
By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - Emphasizing that the event had nothing to do with politics, a state Division of Highways engineer cut a ribbon on a new bridge over the Shenandoah River Friday morning athough it may be a month before work on the span is completed.
The ribbon was cut while traffic continued to stream by on the 51-year-old bridge beside it.
An engineer for the project said westbound traffic could be diverted to the new bridge next week.
The decision to cut the ribbon on the bridge drew the ire of Mike Plante, spokesman for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Wise.
By cutting the ribbon now, Plante said Gov. Cecil Underwood was putting his "short-term political needs before the long-term transportation needs of the state."
State Highway Engineer Joe Deneault assured the estimated 50 people who gathered on the $17 million bridge carrying U.S. 340 across the Shenandoah that politics had nothing to do with the timing of the ribbon cutting.