First, the bad news: The Main Street bridge took four years longer than promised and cost three times the initial projection.

First, the bad news: The Main Street bridge took four years longer than promised and cost three times the initial projection.

The 662-foot structure spanning the Scioto River cost $60.1 million as of last week, up from a 2002 estimate of $19.5 million. Inaccurate material estimates, increased steel and concrete costs, and other factors contributed to the difference.

Now, the good news: The long-needed connector is expected to open to traffic Friday.

Designed with a unique inclined arch, which is tilted 10 degrees from vertical, the three-lane bridge also features a sidewalk and an 18-foot-wide cycling deck.

Mayor Michael Coleman says Columbus eventually will remember the project's economic boost to the south end of Downtown - not its inflated price tag.

"I want this bridge to serve as a catalyst for economic development and all the things we're trying to accomplish on both sides of the river," Coleman told The Columbus Dispatch last week. "I wanted something more than a slab of concrete."