Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says a new Ohio River bridge between downtown Louisville and southern Indiana is expected to open earlier than projected.

Beshear announced Monday that the bridge, originally slated to open next year, will carry drivers by Christmas. He said the exact opening date hasn’t been determined yet, but workers are ahead of schedule and on budget.

He said the bridge would temporarily carry two-way traffic as crews make more extensive improvements to restore the adjacent Kennedy Bridge, which currently carries Interstate 65 across the Ohio River.

Crews broke ground on the long-awaited project in 2013.

Beshear, who traveled to Louisville to make the announcement, said it was exciting to “stand on a bridge that was for decades a nebulous vision.”