BARRIE, ONT. -- The highly anticipated Harvie Road/Highway 400 overpass in Barrie will open on Thursday at 9 p.m. after months of delays, road closures and gridlock.

The $76 million project will support growth in the city's south end and connect Big Bay Point Road to Harvie Road, reducing traffic in the Mapleview area.

In a release on Thursday, Mayor Jeff Lehman stated, "For years, traffic congestion on Mapleview and in the fast-growing south end of the city has been a problem, and this bridge is one of the solutions."

The bridge has five lanes for traffic, two separate lanes for bicycles and two sidewalks for pedestrians.

The Harvie Road/Highway 400 overpass was initially scheduled to open for traffic in October 2020, but several factors, including weather and the pandemic, caused delays.

The city expects roughly 20,000 vehicles to travel over the bridge daily, and that number is expected to double over the next 15 years.