Weatherford Democrat

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February 14, 2013

New loop segment opens to traffic

Drivers can now travel Ric Williamson Memorial Highway from U.S. 180 to SH 51

(Continued)

Texas Monthly magazine ranked him among the “Ten Best Legislators” in the state in 1989 and 1991, and the Dallas Morning News named him the “Best of the 75th Legislative Session” in 1997.

He died of a heart attack in December of 2007 at the age of 55.

Meyer, Williamson’s daughter, said the road — expected to reroute downtown truck traffic, relieve overall traffic congestion and spur economic development along its path opens a “brave new world” for Parker County.

“It’s good we can be a county of growth and innovation,” she said, “and not just treading water.”

Mary Ann said Williamson would not have wanted anything named after him.

“That’s not what he was about,” she said, “but it’s a nice memorial for his children and grandchildren, and it will help them better understand his impact on transportation.

“We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the county and city.”

The second phase of the RWMH, which began at FM 920, was actually completed in August, stopping just short of U.S. Highway 180, but commissioners voted to keep it closed until TxDOT finished the interchange with US. 180, which happened this month.

The court had planned to open the new highway all the way to Ranger Highway, but commissioners voted to rescind an earlier motion to do so Monday when Riley told them it would take another 35 to 40 days to reach that point.

Wednesday, Riley said the construction to Ranger Highway could take up to 60 more days.

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