BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Thousands of Gulf Coast residents are celebrating the opening of the new, six-lane bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
It's a major milestone in the region's recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Two of the bridge's six lanes are scheduled to open to traffic, following a daylong celebration at both ends of the 338 million dollar structure.
The new span reconnects the casino resorts of Biloxi with the quaint shops and tree-lined streets of Ocean Springs, on the eastern side of the bay.
Two years ago, cities on the opposite sides of Biloxi Bay clashed over blueprints for a wider, taller bridge to replace a highway span demolished by Katrina's storm surge.
Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway said of his disagreement with his Ocean Springs counterpart, Connie Moran "water under the bridge."
Moran said she is pleased by some of the features of the new bridge.
All six lanes of the new bridge - and a path for pedestrians and bicyclists - are scheduled to be open by next April.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)