More than 40 people were on hand Friday to witness the dedication and ceremonial opening of the U.S. 131 Constantine bypass.
Several local residents, village, township, county and state officials joined in the ceremony at the south end of the new bridge spanning the St. Joseph River. Those in attendance witnessed a ceremony by the Constantine Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 35, as well as brief speeches by a number of dignitaries.
Though traffic on the 4.9-mile bypass won’t be on the roadway until the end of the month, Friday’s ceremonial ribbon cutting ensured the celebration took place in sunny weather. Construction on the $18 million bypass started earlier this year and follows what some area residents claim is the culmination of decades of talk regarding the bypass.
Among the speakers were Constantine village manager Mark Honeysett, village president Patricia Weiss, former State Sen. Cameron Brown, former State Rep. Rick Shafer, State Rep. Matt Lori, State Sen. Bruce Caswell and former Constantine village president Ken Oates.