The second leg of the long-awaited Bennington bypass project is now open for traffic.
Governor Peter Shumlin and top officials from the Federal Highway Administration were on hand Thursday to open the roadway, which has been under construction since 2007.
The $72 million project will allow freight to move through the area more easily and keep big trucks out of the downtown.
The three-mile route starts a mile east of downtown Bennington and connects with the western leg of the bypass, known formally Vermont Route 279, which opened to traffic in 2004.
The bypass was first conceived in the 1950s, but construction on the first phase did not begin until 1999.