At 2 p.m. Tuesday Melinda Loberg’s cherry red Jeep was the first vehicle to cross the new Lagoon Pond drawbridge. Ms. Loberg honked her horn and her passengers Mark London and Scott Tuttle waved out the windows as the bridge officially opened to vehicular traffic. They were followed by Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel, Oak Bluffs selectman Gail Barmakian and Mr. Israel’s dog in a silver truck and VTA Bus 13.

Traffic breaks in the new bridge. — Mark Lovewell

The new bridge has been in the works for around 10 years.

“It’s amazing, we had no idea in the beginning how long this was going to take,” said Mrs. Loberg, chairman of the Lagoon Pond drawbridge committee. “They stuck right to the deadline.”

The sleek new bridge is not yet complete, but is permanently open to vehicles. Pedestrians will still be directed to the temporary bridge while the new sidewalks are finished. Foot traffic should be transferred to the new bridge in a few weeks. Mrs. Loberg predicts the drawbridge will be completed and the temporary bridge removed by late spring or early summer 2016. The entire project has cost around $60 million.

As the initial flow of traffic crossed the bridge, a symphony of honks rose up and at least two people held cameras out their windows to videotape their inaugural journey. Gulls, already wise to the solid nature of the new bridge, had dotted the fresh asphalt with broken scallop shells, but they had to evacuate their drop station to make way for the wave of vehicles.

The new bridge stands taller than the old one, which was built in 1935. The height will decrease the number of times it will have to open for boats, and thus it is less disruptive to land traffic. It will remain in the down position until the end of January.

Melinda Loberg, Tristan Israel, Gail Barmakian and Mark London. — Mark Lovewell

A bascule bridge, it is opened and closed by a pivoting weight with no suspension supports jutting to the sky. Mrs. Loberg described the design as “light and airy” and said the underside of the bridge will also be much clearer than before.

“It will be a milestone to see the channel underneath,” she said.

Open spaces are planned for around the bases of the bridge and people will be able to walk underneath unhindered.

The Tisbury and Oak Bluffs town line is down the middle of the drawbridge. Mrs. Loberg said the new bridge will have a demarcation line painted on its side for the benefit of shellfishermen.

“To me, if we did a good job, it will all disappear,” said Mr. London, the recently retired executive director of the Martha's Vineyard Commission who served on the committee with Mrs. Loberg since the beginning. He said the bridge should blend in seamlessly with its surroundings.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do after this,” said Mrs. Loberg with a laugh. “I’ll have so much time on my hands.”

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