Aug 1, 2013 7:12 PM by April Hansen, KSBY
Drivers in Santa Maria should expect delays this week as a road construction project is set to complete after 45 years of planning.
The Union Valley Parkway Project will connect Blosser Road and Highway 101.
It's a joint effort involving the city, county and Caltrans.
Crews are currently installing traffic signals and taking the final steps to finish construction.
Since the 1960s, Union Valley Parkway was planned to be a primary roadway for the city and the county.
"I think with the demographics being what they are, I think it essentially will be a real asset for traffic flow," said Orcutt resident Chris Zenor.
Zenor moved to the Orcutt community in the 70s and says he never thought the Union Valley Parkway Project would finish after all of these years.
"I think the big thing about seeing that being built was the fact that it will probably alleviate a lot of the traffic in Orcutt," said Zenor.
He says years ago, he wouldn't be able to recognize Santa Maria and Orcutt.
"The community is growing at such a large rate and so much residential traffic," said Zenor.
The city saw this growth and took the lead to move this project forward.
"The traffic in that area has significantly worsened over those decades. It was not ever envisioned it would take this long," said Mark van de Kamp, spokesperson for the City of Santa Maria.
Van de Kamp says the project moved slowly because the funding wasn't there and some people living in the area didn't want it.
"They were concerned about the sound of traffic going by and so the sound wall is one component and it's also heavily landscaped," said van de Kamp.
So they teamed up with the county and Caltrans to fix the problems and now decades later, they are putting on the finishing touches.
"It's a huge project and it will pay dividends for many decades," said van de Kamp.
Drivers should expect delays. Union Valley Parkway will be closed between Foxenwood Lane and Broadway. Local traffic will be routed to Foster Road.
Funding for this project came from Measure D Regional Funds, Measure A funds and Regional State Local Partnership (SLPP) funds.
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