The bridge was named in honor of the late Clyde “Polly” Clark, who served as Walker County’s District 2 Commissioner from 1972 to 1995.
Current District 2 Commissioner Dan Wright spoke to the crowd before the ceremony and spoke about the respect the community had for Clark.
“I’ve not found anyone who has had a problem with what Polly did,” he said.
Wright added that he tries to operate his office as Clark did during his administration.
Clark’s widow, Alada Clark, cut the ribbon during the ceremony. She and several family members expressed their thanks for honoring Clark’s memory.
“Sixteen years after he died, and you still remember him,” said Clyda Clark Dozier Latham, Clark’s oldest daughter. “We love you for it.”
According to Wright, the 250-foot bridge closed in December of 2004 due to severe corrosion of a pin connecting two sections of the roadway.
Construction of the bridge cost more than $1 million. Approximately $300,000 came from Wright’s office, and the rest came from federal dollars.
Wright thanks his predecessor, Larry Farris, who left much of the funds when he left office. Wright said that when he came into office, he placed the money Farris left behind into a high yield savings account.
Wright also said he is thankful for the support of the Walker County Commission and its chairman, Bruce Hamrick, in making the reopening of the bridge a priority.
“We’re proud of what Dan has accomplished here,” Hamrick said at the ribbon cutting. “It was all his call and his managing.”