Friday afternoon, Grand Valley drivers got their first chance to drive along the brand new Riverside Parkway.
The $110 million project was completed 15 months ahead of schedule and officials, residents and businesses are very excited about it.
6,000 cubic yards of concrete, 2.3 million pounds of steel reinforcement, and 71,000 tons of asphalt later, the Riverside Parkway was finally set to open.
"When you see something like this come to fruition, it feels really satisfying," said Jim Shanks, Riverside Parkway Project Manager. "It's also a great moment for the community."
Hundreds showed up for the dedication ceremony, taking bus tours of the parkway and riding their bikes and even their go carts on the freshly paved roads, before thousands took to them later in the afternoon.
"I think it's very beautiful," said Grand Junction resident Phyllis Hansen. "It's going to be very convenient for everyone."
"The city has done a really good job of improving this area of town, especially through the river corridor," said Grand Junction resident Dave Agapito.
"I think it'll make that intersection at First and Grand a little better," said Grand Junction resident Amy Agapito. "It's such a mess at traffic time, so I think think this will take some of those people."
And it's not just drivers who are celebrating the parkway's completion. After dealing with road closures, construction, and limited access for nearly two years, businesses along the parkway say they have a lot to be happy about.
"We were told there's an estimated fifteen-thousand cars that should be driving over the bridge right in front of the rink daily," said Robbie Koos of the Glacier Ice Arena. That's free advertising for us."
Officials say they're pleased to get this kind of reaction for the largest capitol improvement project in Grand Junction history.
"It was a lot of joint effort work, a lot of cooperation and collaboration, and just a lot of perseverance as well," said Shanks.
A culmination of hard work that residents agree was well worth their tax dollars.
"We are celebrating today," said Koos. "We've been looking forward to this day for two years and we are thrilled."
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