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Published May 16, 2012, 08:00 PM

ND's Oldest Vehicle Bridge Restored

(WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota's oldest documented vehicle bridge was restored and on Wednesday, the North Dakota Department of Transportation held a dedication ceremony.

(WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota's oldest documented vehicle bridge was restored and on Wednesday, the North Dakota Department of Transportation held a dedication ceremony.

People in Portland and Mayville remembered the days when their ancestors crossed the bridge on horse-drawn buggies.

The Viking Bridge over the Goose River was built in 1885, connecting Portland with Mayville.

"In 1915 it was moved here to this location and a different bridge was put in," Ben Kubischta with the DOT said.

And for nearly 100 years, here the bridge has stood. With all the wear and tear over the years, the North Dakota Department of Transportation wanted to refurbish the bridge.

Materials we have today are far better, the construction technology is better," Bob Christensen with NDDOT Cultural Resources said.

Reconstruction and historical preservation of the bridge is not only important to the State but for the people who use it almost everyday.

"We use it a lot to check fields and once in a while to go across town this way," Leslie Amb said.

Restoration of the bridge cost $700,000 and took nearly a year. In a commemorative ceremony today, local families and those involved with the construction celebrated keeping history alive in their community.

"Can you imagine how important it was for our great grandfathers when the first bridge to cross Goose River that could take vehicles across and changed hours of transportation by barge," Christensen said.

"This is a local treasure that's of great importance to North Dakota because it is the oldest bridge in the state," Kubischta said.

Historic panels were recently placed by the bridge for visitors to learn more about the history.

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