The completed Alton Parkway, which now connects Foothill Ranch to Irvine, is open for traffic.
Barriers at Irvine Boulevard, Towne Centre Drive and Commercentre Drive were removed from the roadway at about 1:25 p.m. Wednesday, allowing drivers to cruise the length of the thoroughfare for the first time.
At the Lake Forest end at Towne Centre Drive, Foothill Ranch resident Stacey Cruz and her daughter Teagan, who turns 2 this Saturday, were the first on the roadway.
Cruz, who has lived in Foothill Ranch since 2006, said she has watched the construction progress on Alton and looked forward to its opening.
She and Teagan parked on Towne Centre Drive well before the roadway opened to the public so they could be the first to drive it.
Editor's note: Meet Stacey (and hear her daughter) in the video clip to the right, taken as they waited for the roadway to open Wednesday.
The Cruz's turned right onto Alton seconds after it was officially opened, followed by a few other motorists—some cheering—who also wanted to try out the new roadway.
Representatives from the city and county, who partnered on the project, met earlier in the day for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the closure of the 2.1-mile gap between the segment of road in Lake Forest and the portion in Irvine.