SAN ANTONIO -

North Side commuters got an early Christmas gift on Friday.

The connector ramp at Loop 1604 to Highway 281 South opened at 11 a.m., much to the delight of surprised motorists.

"Over 50,000 people are scheduled to drive on the direct connectors daily, so I imagine there are a lot of happy people in this area," said Michelle Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority. "We're fortunate enough to have opened them before the holidays."

Ramon Sanchez, a driver, said the connector will make it easier to get around the area.

"Anything to make the traffic better on 1604," Sanchez said.

While the ramp opening is good news, there is some construction that still needs to be completed in the area, Martinez said.

Some work on access roads and bridges on Stone Oak, Redland and Gold Canyon roads remain to be finished, Martinez said.

She said those projects will hopefully to be wrapped up around May.

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