With the opening of the new DuBoistown Bridge, Williamsport now has three modern bridges crossing the Susquehanna River to South Williamsport and DuBoistown.
That's no small feat in an age when many cities are dominated by crumbling, pothole-filled bridges not befitting any city that wants to project vitality.
It's hard to remember, but the city's three bridges used to be steel-girder structures prone to slick driving during times of snow and ice and more than a little swaying from time to time. That was especially true in the final years of the former Arch Street Bridge, which was judged structurally deficient.
The new bridge takes some pressure off the Maynard Street exit to the Beltway, which became a traffic bottleneck in the final months of the DuBoistown Bridge construction when it was the detour route for many people headed toward the west section of South Williamsport, DuBoistown, Old Lycoming Township, the city's west end and Nisbet. The modern span also improves access to and from Reach Road, the industrial center of Williamsport. That will improve operations for existing industries there.
It's a proven fact that the better the transportation in a city and area, the better the economic potential. These modern bridges, an up-to-date connecting Beltway, quick access to Route 15 and Interstate 80 and Williamsport's advantageous, central location are all good selling points for economic development.
And under the heading of what's in a name, the DuBoistown Bridge is being named for a true, local American hero, Marine Lance Cpl. Abram L. Howard, who was killed in action in 2010. That's a bridge naming with meaning and pride.
The connectors over the Susquehanna River in Williamsport have never looked better.