A sign advises drivers on Route 107 in Bethel, Vt., in preparation for its reopening Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Updated: Thursday, 29 Dec 2011, 2:26 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 29 Dec 2011, 2:26 PM EST
STOCKBRIDGE, Vt. (AP) — Four months and a day after Tropical Storm Irene inundated Vermont, officials have marked the reopening of the last stretch of highway that was closed by the storm.
Route 107 between Bethel and Stockbridge reopened Thursday afternoon. The major east-west artery was reconstructed in 119 days.
The storm left a dozen Vermont towns cut off from the outside world for days and damaged or destroyed more than 500 miles of roads and 200 bridges. It also killed six people and reshaped much of the low-lying countryside.
But the Route 107 repair posed the biggest single engineering challenge. The fix included 46 subcontractors and 20,000 hours of heavy equipment time.
State and local officials gathered at a Stockbridge school and tossed fluorescent orange hats into the air to mark the highway's opening.