The new road connecting Route 81 to Fort Drum was officially dedicated Thursday as the 'Paul Cerjan Memorial Highway.'

In a ceremony at the Fort Drum Commons, Lieutenant General Cerjan's widow, Patricia, said "It's great to have the man I love more than life have something named for him."

Cerjan was the Assistant Division Commander for Support of the 10th Mountain Division between 1985 to 1988, and was responsible for planning and carrying out the expansion and modernization of Drum.

He died in April 2011.

Interstate 781 is "a fulfillment of one of the last parts of his planning for the post," Patricia Cerjan said.

The road opened earlier this month after three years of construction. It is supposed to ease traffic congestion along routes 11 and 342 leading to the post's main gate.

"This will help manage that," said Mark Frechette, the acting regional director of the state Department of Transportation. "We're very proud of this project."