FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Faster commute times in northwest Fresno are about to be a reality.

A section of a new interchange called “Veterans Boulevard” opened up Wednesday. This section of the Veterans Boulevard overpass is expected to dramatically cut down on traffic allowing drivers to avoid delayed traffic from freight trains.

“It will connect the west siders to shopping, dining, places of worship, and entertainment venues,” says Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.

Funding for the project came from developer fees and a mix of local, state, and Measure C funds.

“I’m in love with Measure C dollars. They have done so much for Fresno County,” says Dyer.

The project includes a six-lane corridor with raised landscape medians, a protected pedestrian trail, and a two-way bike path.

“We’ve got to make the kinds of investments that our parents and grandparents made. the investments on veterans boulevard will improve the economy, create more jobs, and help with traffic safety,” says U.S. Representative Jim Costa.

The full opening of the interchange from Shaw to Herndon avenues including all on and off ramps at the 99 is scheduled for November next year.