Community members on the Sucker River reserve, stakeholders from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the federal government are celebrating the grand-opening of a new bridge in Sucker River.

The bridge in the community had been closed to vehicle traffic 14 years ago forcing many to travel out of their way to access services in the community.

Band Councillor for Sucker River Larry McKenzie says the Lac La Ronge Indian Band lobbied for the new bridge for close to 11 years.

“We are really excited to have this bridge,” said McKenzie. “The bridge will better serve our community, so it is a big deal for us.”

The 55-metre bridge crosses the Nemeiben River and provides a single-lane for vehicles, as well as a guarded pedestrian walkway.

Official construction on the project began in 2014 and was funded through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the First Nations Infrastructure Fund.

“My warmest congratulations to Chief Tammy Cook-Searson, Councillors and community members of Lac La Ronge Indian Band on the opening of their new bridge,” said Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett in a media release.

An official grand opening of the new bridge took place on Friday morning and for McKenzie, he was happy to be a part of something log-lasting for the community.

“I was told that this bridge would last 75 years, so it is nice to be a part of something that will last a long, long time.”

The old bridge was originally closed to vehicle traffic in 2002.