CHESAPEAKE - At long last, the new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge is ready.

The span over the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake was dedicated Friday, kicking off a weekend of activities-rain or shine.

Officials said they won't let Hurricane Sandy dampen the enthusiasm of the occasion, adding that events will go as planned unless there's an imminent threat to the safety of attendees.

The 10:30 a.m. ceremony included an official blessing and a ribbon cutting to let double-decker tour buses make the first official crossings.

Work on the approximately 1-mile bridge began November 8, 2010 and it becomes the highest bridge in the Hampton Roads region at 169 feet above the water, so there are no openings for drivers to deal with.

The span replaces the old Jordan Bridge, which was the oldest-operating lift bridge in Virginia. It opened on August 24, 1928.

On October 14, 2008, Chesapeake City Council unanimously voted to shut down the bridge in early November of that year. In January 2009, Council approved plans from Figg Bridge Developers for the new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.

The span also has a walkway for pedestrians, which provides a direct link to Chesapeake's Colonial Trail system and will connected to Paradise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth.

Crossing the bridge will cost $2 each way with an E-ZPass. It opens Monday at 6:00 a.m . for the morning commute.

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