EAST RICHFORD, Vt.- The restored East Richford-Sutton International Bridge over the Missisquoi River is officially open. The bridge has linked Vermont and Quebec since 1918.

“In this part of the world, we’re not only friends, we are family,” said Marie-Claude Francoeur, a Quebec delegate.

The original bridge was destroyed by ‘The Great Flood of 1927’ but was replaced two years later with a truss bridge. After another rebuild in 1979 it was time for some upgrades to the tune of $4.4 million.

The bridge is jointly owned and will be maintained by the state of Vermont and the Province of Quebec, split at about 80% and 20% respectively.

“Despite being a lower volume crossing, the project required a very extensive permitting and approval process, including documentation for a Presidential Permit,” said Joe Flynn, Agency of Transportation Secretary.

Officials say about ten to 15 people use this bridge on a daily basis but fluctuates with the seasons.

“Jay Peak, Lake Champlain and the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail in addition to other outdoor recreation activities are all accessible now to our neighbors north of the border,” said Lindsay Kurrle, Agency of Commerce & Community Development.

Governor Phil Scott says the newly renovated border crossing will strengthen duo’s partnership which trades more than $2.2 billion worth of goods every year.

“It’s great to see a different approach and people working together, in this time of talking about walls in Mexico on our southern border,” he said.