(Independence) - The National Park Service opened its new Rockside Station Pedestrian Bridge today, just in time for Labor Day weekend.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park received $3.2 million in federal funds for projects benefiting the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and that included $1.4 million for the pedestrian bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River connecting Valley View and Independence.

Cheryl Schreier, superintendence of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park says the bridge will improve access between the Towpath Trail and the railroad.

At 240 feet, National Park Service Civil Engineer Robert Bobel says it’s one of the longest clear span pedestrian bridges in northeast Ohio.

Cuyahoga Valley Scene Railroad President and CEO Craig Tallman says the bridge will bring more passengers to their Bike Aboard! program. Visitors can ride their bikes in the park, and flag down a train at any of the boarding stations.

Independence Mayor Greg Kurtz, and Valley View Mayor Jerry Piaseki tell Newsradio WTAM 1100 that the bridge will encourage economic development and bring both of their cities closer together.

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