On August 18, dignitaries from CALTRANS, Kern County and the City of Bakersfield cut the ribbon on the new $28 million State Route 178 Interchange at Morning Drive. The ceremony celebrated the official opening of the interchange after 2 years of construction and years of planning. The interchange, which was completed as part of the Thomas Road Improvement Program, provides full cloverleaf access to Morning Drive, connecting the 3/4 mile of Morning Drive constructed by the Rio Bravo Medical Campus LLC to the downtown area via the limited access SR 178. At the ceremony, City Manager Alan Tandy and Councilmember Ken Weir applauded the cooperative efforts between the public agencies involved in the TRIP and the private Rio Bravo Medical Campus, LLC. In an interview after the ceremony, Gary L. Bruno, the Manager of the private group, lauded the work of their public partners, "As Mr. Tandy said during the ceremony, completion of the interchange is the result of a sustanined, superior effort from the desingners, contractors and state, county , and city staff whose efforts brought this project in on time. The efforts give the public full access to our site and will spur the much needed development of not only our medical campus, but also the retail component of the project." Mr. Bruno added, "the timing of the opening dovetails perfectly with our efforts on the Rio Bravo Cancer & Imaging Center, which will open at the end of September."