Westside Parkway to open Aug. 2

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Westside Parkway will open Friday, Aug. 2.

The first new freeway in Bakersfield in nearly 40 years comes at a cost of $240 million, according to the city and the Thomas Roads Improvement Program.

The city and TRIP said Friday that they will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Aug. 2 at the Westside Parkway/Coffee Road Interchange Bridge. The public is invited and asked to enter the site from the Mohawk Street westbound on-ramps.

Crews will begin removing barriers from the freeway ramps following the ceremony, and that process could take several hours, officials said.

The Westside Parkway groundbreaking took place in October 2009. The freeway stretches from Allen Road in the west to Truxtun Avenue in the east and includes interchanges at Mohawk Street, Coffee Road, Calloway Drive and Allen Road.

The final phase of the freeway, from Allen Road to Stockdale Highway/Heath Road, is now under construction and is expected to open to traffic in fall 2014, according to TRIP.