Puerto Rico town gets new bridge six months after hurricane washed away old one
(NEW YORK) -- It's been nearly six months since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, and while many communities are still struggling, one is celebrating a small victory.
When Maria made landfall Sept. 20, a bridge connecting 60 familes to Utuado, a town of about 33,000 two hours southwest of San Juan, was washed away.
On Tuesday, Gov. Ricardo Rossello was on hand to dedicate a new bridge near the site of the old one.
"Utuado was at one point considered ground zero after the most devastating, slowest and most impactful natural catastrophe in the modern history of Puerto Rico," Rosello said.
When ABC News arrived in Utuado less than two weeks after the storm, residents had cobbled together a makeshift ladder to reach what was left of the bridge from the waterbed. Over the following weeks, a jerry-rigged shopping cart on a line became a lifeline for food and medicine.
Rossello, joined by a resident who'd been left stranded, christened the new bridge with a bottle of champange and called it a symbol of "the commitment and the resiliency of the people of Puerto Rico.”
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