When city and transportation officials gather at 10 a.m. Friday to cut the ribbon on the five-mile, $164.3 million Westside Parkway, they’ll be doing more than opening a six-lane expressway.
The event, atop the Coffee Road bridge — chosen for its views of the parkway — represents the opening of Bakersfield’s first new freeway since Highway 58 was completed in 1976.
It also is a sign of transportation projects on the move. The parkway’s final $30.1 million segment, from Allen Road to the Heath Road and Stockdale Highway intersection, is due to be completed next year, while planning continues for the controversial Centennial Corridor, which will connect the parkway to Highway 58 and, eventually, Interstate 5.
Click on the graphic to see details on the Westside Parkway routes.