Part of a long-awaited bypass in Oregon's wine country is finally finished, and starting Saturday, drivers can check out Phase 1 of the Newberg-Dundee bypass.
The 4-mile stretch of a new 2-lane roadway connects Highway 99W just west of Dundee to Highway 219 south of Newberg. It opened at 5 a.m. Saturday.
The roadway is expected to significantly reduce congestion and travel time for drivers while also increasing safety.
People who live along the route say the project has been years in the making, and now that it's finally here, they hope it helps.
"It’s pretty bad especially in rush hour. You sit there for like 20 minutes. It’s ridiculous because it’s such a short distance you know. I remember going to town hall meetings as a kid and hearing about this. So, it’s been a long time in the making so it’s exciting to see it actually come to fruition at long last," said Kyle Rosalez who lives in Newberg and works in Dundee.
The Oregon Department of Transportation says Phase 1 was finished on time and on budget at a cost of $252 million.
Phase 2, the remaining 7 miles of the project, will connect the bypass at Highway 219 and at Highway 99W near Rex Hill east of Newberg.
When the bypass is finished, it will be 11 miles long with four lanes.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.