PAOLI, Ind. (WDRB) –  The historic downtown Paoli bridge that nearly collapsed on Christmas Day two years ago will soon see traffic once again.

The sign may say "Bridge Out" in downtown Paoli, but that won't be the case for much longer. 

“Yes, It'll be nice to see it open and being used again,” Mary Jane Dodson said.

People in and around Paoli have been patiently waiting for the bridge to reopen.

“I ask about it all the time actually,” Harry Tinsley said.

From near collapse on Christmas day in 2015, to being restored to it's former glory.

"The bridge is actually completed, but we're doing height structures for each end to limit the height the vehicles can go get on the bridge because we don't want this happening again," Don Brewer, president of Orange County Commissioners said. 

Two years ago, Mary Lambright admitted to driving a semi truck over the bridge carrying six times the posted limit.

"I just about cried," Maria Lee said. "I thought how could somebody not know."

The crumpled mess of a bridge, that was built in the 1800s, sat for over a year while insurance and quotes came together.

Insurance for the trucking company ended up paying about $700,000 for the repairs.

Though the bridge itself is complete, County officials said the height structures will be installed after Christmas, so it will still be about two more weeks before it's grand reopening.

"I was really glad to hear that it was just about finished," Lee said.

For bridge enthusiasts, they're thrilled history was preserved.

"Because it's so easy to just take away the old things and bring in something new," Lee said.

At the bridge grand opening, it will also be dedicated as the Sol Strauss and James M. Tucker Memorial Bridge.

County commissioners said both men were active in the community and did a lot for the county.

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