BAKERSFIELD - Finally, after nearly 30 years, traffic is flowing across the brand new Westside Parkway.
The new east-west connector officially opened Friday, after four years of construction.
City officials say this is a day they've been waiting for, for years.
The five-mile freeway is open to the public, making your commute around town a little smoother.
"We had a ribbon cutting on concrete. We've had a lot of ribbon cuttings on dirt," said former Congressman Bill Thomas.
Friday morning, a grand opening ceremony was held as dozens of people gathered for a project, city officials say, will change Bakersfield forever.
"I'm really excited. I feel like I'm a part of history, Bakersfield history and I'm really excited to see what this is going to mean for our community," said Bakersfield resident Casey Knaak.
"I don't know how many decades it's been since California has built a freeway and who knows how many decades it will be before they build another one, but we got one here," said Kern County Supervisor David Couch.
The six-lane freeway will take you from Truxtun Avenue to Allen Road.
Come next fall, the third phase of the Westside Parkway will be finished. That will connect Allen Road to the intersection of Heath Road and Stockdale Highway.
"Just wait a few weeks when you don't have to take Truxtun, you don't have to take Rosedale, you've got your own Westside Freeway. That's going to be a significant improvement," said Thomas.
More than an hour after the grand opening, city officials let traffic through following four years of construction and money issues.
In the 1980s, the city preserved land for a future freeway because of how fast the city was growing.
City officials say while construction was underway, no businesses or homes were bought or damaged, something the city is proud of.
"It's an important and significant piece of highway for greater Bakersfield which is now one of the ten largest cities in California," Thomas continued.
The project cost around $177 million.
City officials say one day, they're confident the Westside Parkway will connect to Interstate Five.