11/14/2014 06:19 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST

First Nation no longer cut off: Bridge damaged by 2013 Alberta flooding reopens

SIKSIKA, Alta. - The Siksika reserve east of Calgary is no longer divided following the reopening of a bridge that was badly damaged in last year's flooding.

The community of Arrowhead had been cut off since the Chicago Bridge over the Bow River was put out of commission in June 2013.

Residents on the south side of the river who needed to get to the north side for services or to their jobs were forced to make a detour that took about an hour.

The bridge on Highway 547 was reopened to light traffic in early October, but it's only been two weeks since the structure was cleared for heavier loads.

Alberta Transportation Minister Wayne Drysdale told the official opening he was frustrated over how long it took to complete repairs.

Rebuilding efforts on the reserve of 7,000 were slow in the first year after the floods.

Evacuees were still living in construction trailers or in hotel rooms in nearby towns last June. Dozens of homes were still facing demolition and the status of others was up in the air.

(CHQR, The Canadian Press)