CHESAPEAKE - It's the day thousands of commuters and many Chesapeake businesses have been waiting for - the opening of the new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge. ;
The span which links Chesapeake and Portsmouth across the Elizabeth River's Southern branch will open to commuters on Monday, October 29.
'We've been waiting a while for this,' said Johnny Arrington, owner of Annette's Sandwich Shoppe in Chesapeake. 'We're ready to get our business back.'
Arrington's restaurant is just a few blocks from the new bridge.
People living nearby are anxious for the opening, too.
'It looks like a roller coaster that I'm ready to ride,' said Dana Wilson.
To celebrate, the official dedication on Friday, October 26, kicks off a weekend of events.
Beginning at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, many events, including a Bridge Bash and River Run, will celebrate the opening and the festivities end with a fireworks display at 7:30 p.m.
Tours of the span will be available until 6:30 p.m on Saturday.
Additional weekend activities include a 'Free Sunday Drive' on Sunday, October 28, 2012 from noon to 6 pm.
The span officially opens to traffic at 6:00 a.m. with special commemorative items distributed to the first 50 vehicles to cross the new bridge.
Tolls are collected via E-Z pass or vehicles must have a registered South Norfolk Jordan Bridge Pay by Plate account. Unregistered vehicles that travel the bridge will be invoiced for accrued travel fees. For a complete list of weekend events, go to the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge website or call 757/545-3444.
The opening was originally set for July 14, but the date was pushed back when a large piece of pre-fabricated concrete fell during construction in June.
The bridge will become the highest in Hampton Roads and replaces the Jordan Bridge, which closed in 2008,.