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City officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to celebrate the completion of traffic-flow improvements made along the Betteravia Road and Highway 101 interchange.

Standing in the parking lot for the new CoastHills corporate headquarters, which is located near the interchange, Santa Maria Public Works Director Kevin McCune said the project will improve safety for drivers exiting on to Betteravia Road, which is the city’s most traveled street with over 40,000 vehicles traveling along the corridor on any given day. 

Officials from the city of Santa Maria, California Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol and Santa Barbara County Association of Governments were present for the ribbon-cutting.

The growing number of businesses around Betteravia Road at the Crossroads and Enos Ranch developments has driven more traffic to Betteravia Road in recent years and the drivers would get backed out into the highway due to the high volume of cars, said city spokesman Mark van de Kamp. 

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The project — which was started in June and completed last month — required crews to expand the southbound off-ramp at Betteravia Road to accommodate an additional right-turn lane and traffic signal improvements, remove the concrete median on Betteravia Road and lengthen the left-turn lanes at the Highway 101 northbound on-ramp signal.

Santa Maria Councilman Mike Cordero said he was glad to see the work completed and noted that, prior to the construction, he often had to wait several light cycles to exit the ramp. 

“I use this southbound turn-off several times a week,” he said. “It really has been a great improvement.”

The project, which cost $900,000, was paid for using proceeds from the Measure A transportation sales tax and federal Local Surface Transportation Program (LSTP) funds.

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Razi Syed covers Santa Maria City Government for Lee Central Coast Newspapers.  Follow him on Twitter @razisyed

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City Government

Razi Syed covers city government for the Santa Maria Times. He is a graduate of Fresno State University and New York University.