The reopening of the Jefferson Street interchange, scheduled at 4:00 P.M. Monday, was delayed due to the finalizing of safety aspects on the bridge.
By 6:00 P.M., crews were placing yellow water filled barrels in appropriate areas of the bridge to protect drivers from potentially deadly traffic collisions.
The project is currently in the third of four stages of construction.
"We’re excited about being able to deliver on this project made to CVAG…this is the final interchange, the largest and the most complex out of the six that we’ve been working on and we’re happy to give a portion of it to the public today" said Dennis Green, the project’s outreach coordinator.
For years drivers complained about the confusion caused by the old interchange. Drivers also said that the lack of a traffic signal caused bumper to bumper traffic on a regular basis. The project did not come without several challenges.
"We’ve had the winds, which you can’t work in. We’ve had the rain that you cannot work in and then we’ve had temperatures this summer of 120 degrees which is a safety problem for the workers," said Green.
The existing Indio Boulevard bridge will close and the new Jefferson Street bridge will be realigned to connect to Indio Boulevard. Temporarily, there will be two lanes going northbound and one lane going southbound. By the time the project is complete, there will be a total of eight lanes. Drivers and business owners in the area are happy to see the project finally coming to an end.
"I have clients all the way to Heritage Palms and into the Shadow Hills area, Sun City, Shadow Hills, and it will be a lot easier for them," said Cut and Curls owner Edna Gomez.
"It’s unsightly, all the dirt and everything but they seem to be making some positive headway so we’re looking forward to having it open," said Indio Resident Evelyn Grafas.