Final piece of RWMH to be complete in about a year

Posted Wednesday, May. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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After five years of construction and politics, city officials and others broke ground for the final piece of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway May 14.

"How exciting is this – we can see I-20," said Melissa Williamson Meyer, daughter of the late Ric Williamson who first took steps to get the highway in place.

Parker County Judge Mark Riley said many people doubted the highway could be done in so short a time but that in about 14 months it will be completed and ready for traffic.

"It has taken a lot of work and cooperation," Riley said of the long process. "But we’re blessed to have some things fall in place."

Meyer said she has been pleased with the speed of the project and her husband and young son, Jack - who also got to wield shovels for the groundbreaking - have enjoyed each celebration along the way as portions of the highway were completed.

"I really look forward to that next and last, biggest one," Meyer said of the last ribbon-cutting event that should occur just over a year from its groundbreaking.

Riley praised the late Williamson for his ability to see past the current state of transportation and to see what would be needed in the future, although sometimes that vision brought opposition from others.

But now the goals Williamson hoped would be accomplished in the highway are being realized as it nears completion.

Weatherford Mayor Dennis Hooks said he looks forward to the relief it will bring to traffic in the Weatherford’s downtown area.

"We’re one step closer to getting the traffic off the Square," Hooks said.

When complete, the full length of Ric Williamson Memorial Highway will stretch from Highway 51 north of Weatherford to Interstate 20, providing another route to relieve traffic in other areas.

"This project for me has exceeded my expectations," Hooks said.

The speed of the project surprised others as well. But doubts were again laid to rest by the groundbreaking of the next portion of the highway – the final stretch.

"We congratulate you for reaching this milestone," said John Corgary of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Corgary said the department learned some important lessons while working on the project that could be applied to future projects. He referred to this project as a good role model for others.

"We want to make sure we provide the safe and reliable transportation solutions that we can to Parker County," Corgary said.

The same week of the groundbreaking was also National Transportation Week. With the ceremony, Riley declared it to be the same for Parker County as well.

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