— From Staff Reports
More than half of the western portion of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway is now open to traffic after the barricades at Mineral Wells Highway came down Tuesday morning, allowing traffic to go as far south as Ranger Highway.
This is the second section of the project, commonly known as the loop, to open this year. In February the portion between Farm-to-Market Road 920 and Mineral Wells Highway (U.S. Highway 180) opened. Vehicles can now move around the western portions of Weatherford from State Highway 51 south to Ranger Highway.
The next and last phase of the $40 million county bond project involves completion of the new highway from Ranger Highway to its interchange with Interstate 20. Parker County commissioners recently awarded an $8.5 million construction contract for that phase to Ed Bell Construction Company. Pending TxDOT’s approval of the phase’s plans, the project is currently $1.275 million under budget for the entire five-phase project, officials said.
Completion of the last RWMH bond phase to I-20 is scheduled for spring 2014.
Williamson, of Weatherford, was a former chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission and secured the 2004 TxDOT feasibility evaluation that led to the road’s construction. He was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1984, serving from 1985 to 1999. He died in December 2007.