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MERIDIAN -- After a year of headaches, drivers and business owners can now breathe a sigh of relief. The $8.5 million Meridian Split Corridor project is largely complete, with the final piece of the project opening to traffic Thursday.

At a dedication ceremony Thursday morning, officials with ACHD, the City of Meridian, and Meridian Development Corporation celebrated the project's early completion (according to Mayor Tammy de Weerd, the project finished 33 days ahead of schedule and under budget).

The project, which began last fall, included widening Meridian Road to five lanes between Franklin Road and Cherry Lane. It also included significant upgrades to city sewer and water services.

The idea was to create a smoother drive for to and through drivers, as well as to better serve pedestrians in downtown, said Ada County Highway District spokesperson, Christine Myron.

The dedication event marked the opening of the final piece of the project - the cross-over roadway, which links Main Street to Meridian Road and channels northbound through drivers to the newly-widened Meridian Road.

De Weerd said the road improvements increase safety and access to the city's core.

I think everyone has been affected by the inconvenience of this road project, said de Weerd. But, they'll reap the benefits of increased traffic flow, safety, sidewalks, a lighted corridor. It's really a huge amenity for our community.

ACHD says additional finishing work will occur in the area throughout the next month, but should not significantly impact traffic.

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