MONTREAL — The Mercier Bridge linking Montreal to its south-shore suburbs opened Thursday for the first time after an eight-week standoff between armed Mohawks and police.
As army pipers played, hundreds of cars and trucks drove onto the bridge from suburban Chateauguay, through the Kahnawake Mohawk reserve and past armored personnel carriers.
"It's about time," one unidentified man on his way to work told a radio station. "The government should never have let this happen in the first place."
The bridge normally handles about 70,000 vehicles during the daily rush hour. It was barricaded by Indians from the Kahnawake reserve after provincial police staged an abortive attack on a Mohawk barricade at Kahnesatake near Oka, Quebec, on July 11 in which an officer died.
The bridge closure led to violent demonstrations by south-shore commuters.