A long-awaited link between the communities of Barrhaven and Riverside South has officially opened to the public as cyclists, pedestrians and drivers can freely travel between the areas.

The $48 million bridge opened Saturday and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said promptly, "This is our Eiffel Tower."

Watson said in late June the bridge was set to open sometime this month, with only some final tests and landscaping work still to be done at the time.

The bridge was originally supposed to open in the spring of 2012 but was delayed a few times, including when the company building the bridge went into receivership.

Residents who spoke to CBC News after the July target was announced said the bridge would really help them get around the city by opening up a third way to cross the Rideau River in southwest Ottawa.

Representatives of the community of Manotick, where one of those crossings is, said the bridge's opening will ease congestion and make living there safer.

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