A DAY of celebrations is planned for the opening of Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham on Wednesday.
Residents keen to walk across the River Adur between Coronation Green and Shoreham Beach will have to wait until then, however.
Hopes the new bridge would be open before the official ceremony have been dashed following delays and weather issues.
The replacement bus service between Shoreham town centre and Shoreham Beach will continue as normal until 7pm on Wednesday.
During a special ceremony at Coronation Green, the Duke of Gloucester will unveil the name plaque, between 12.30pm and 1pm.
He will then cross the bridge to meet a gathering of schoolchildren, cyclists and residents at the Shoreham Beach end.
During the afternoon, community events, organised by Adur District Council will continue the celebrations.
There will also be an informal reception for invited guests at The Beach House, in East Street, for some of the people who were involved in the replacement of the old bridge.
Pieter Montyn, county cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We are all looking forward to what should be a great occasion.
“It is an honour to welcome the Duke of Gloucester to open this wonderful new bridge for everyone to start using.
“We ask all residents of Shoreham who can make it to join the celebration.”
The £9.8m project was funded by West Sussex County Council, with a significant contribution from The Big Lottery Fund and national cycling charity Sustrans.
The new bridge will be shared by pedestrians, cyclists and people using mobility scooters.
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans chief executive, said: “I am delighted that the Duke of Gloucester will open this innovative, new bridge – uniting Shoreham and helping residents be more active as they get around.
“The Adur Ferry Bridge marks the end of a very successful five-year project to extend the National Cycle Network into the heart of communities across the UK.”
Artie Beat, the British Heart Foundation mascot, will be leading pupils from Shoreham Beach Primary School across the bridge at 3pm.
Celebrations on Coronation Green will then begin, with live music in the marquee from Shoreham Allstars, a display of bikes by Giant bike store, a bike doctor and the chance to win a bike.
At 4pm, people can join the conga across the bridge and back again and there will be a fireworks finale at 6.30pm, sponsored by Osborne, the contractor building the bridge.
Celebrations continue at the Duke of Wellington, in Brighton Road, from 7pm, including sea shanties.
The bridge links up with the National Cycle Network which, once completed, will run along the south coast from St Austell in Cornwall to Dover in Kent.
Mr Shepherd added: “With over four million people now living within a mile of these routes, cycling and walking has become a real option for local journeys. Across the country we need safer routes for walking and cycling and a fresh approach to public transport.”