Yakima City officials are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday for the opening of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard underpass.

The ribbon cutting will mark the earlier than expected opening of the new underpass. It is set for 11:00 a.m. tomorrow at the intersection of 1st Avenue and MLK Jr. Blvd.

Construction of the underpass was expected to last through late summer or early fall this year, but relatively mild winter weather and the efficiency of contractor crews allowed the project to be completed ahead of schedule. Mowat Construction Company, a Woodinville-based firm, served as the project’s primary contractor. Work started in March 2013 on the roughly $10.6 million underpass project.

Reopening MLK Jr. Blvd will restore a primary link to downtown Yakima and relieve traffic congestion caused by detouring vehicles around the construction area while the underpass was being built.

The part of downtown Yakima that is home to the MLK Jr. Blvd underpass has seen plenty of construction over the past few years. Work on the Lincoln Avenue underpass, located a block away from its MLK Jr. Blvd sister underpass, began in 2010 and was finished in the fall of 2012.