The long-awaited Wallkill tunnel is now open to traffic.

In a move that will surely help traffic in the area, the tunnel goes under Route 17 and links three major shopping plazas. The Times Herald Record reports a ribbon cutting occurred by Best Buy Thursday, with a far more elaborate dedication ceremony planned for Oct. 16.

The town was originally supposed to foot the bill, but Wallkill Supervisor Dan Depew negotiated with the state and they ended up paying for the $5.4 million project. In fact, the project was due to be finished around the holidays, but was completed early.