Dozens of residents and leaders from Scott and Carver counties, at right, celebrated the opening of the County Road 101 bridge Tuesday, walking from opposite ends of the 4,100-foot span for a ceremonial meeting in the middle.

The new bridge, which crosses the Minnesota River flood plain between Shakopee and Chanhassen, is wider and higher than the old one, which was prone to flooding. Construction began in summer 2014 as part of the $54 million Southwest Reconnection Project.

More than 20,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily — a number that’s expected to double by 2035, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Traffic began flowing across the new bridge Tuesday afternoon.

Emma Nelson