State and local officials cut a ribbon on Friday to mark the completion of phase one of the Route 18 Improvement Project.

The project includes stamped-concrete intersections, traffic lights and landscaping on a section of Route 18 around Union Street, to slow down traffic and create a way for pedestrians to safely cross the roadway.

State Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford first set money aside for Route 18 some 15 years ago.  He's impressed with the finished product.

Mayor Jon Mitchell praised the work of Ron Labelle, who managed the project for the city, and the contributions of former Congressman Barney Frank.

Mithcell says three-quarters of the project was paid for with federal money, securred by Frank over the years.

TSM - Route 18 in New Bedford