Traffic count looking good on RWMH loop

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The first traffic counts are in and it looks as though the numbers reveal what Parker County Judge Mark Riley said he always knew. The Ric Williamson Memorial Highway, (RWMH) referred to as the “loop,” is easing congestion around the Courthouse Square and portions of downtown.

In mid-July, electronic traffic counts were taken with counters set up at four points along the loop.

Riley posted the figures on his blog, which were verified with Freese and Nichols who conducted the survey, and posted them on Aug. 15.

The survey revealed:

• At the intersection of FM 51 North, heading south on the RWMH, the first counter, just past the intersection, the southbound count was 1,509 vehicles, of which 8 percent were trucks. The northbound count was 1,207 with 11 percent trucks.

• The next counter, between Zion Hill Rd (FM 2421)and Peaster Highway (FM 920), there were 1,235 southbound vehicles, of which 12 percent were trucks. Northbound the count was 1,203 vehicles with 13 percent trucks.

• At the next location the counter was between Peaster Highway and Garner Road. Southbound the total was 1,689 and 15 percent were trucks. Northbound 1,704 vehicles were in the count and 13 percent were trucks.

• The last counter was between Mineral Wells Highway and Greenwood Road. Southbound there were 1,065 vehicles and 18 percent were trucks. Northbound the count was 924 and 19 percent were trucks.

Riley said that with 2/3 of the loop open, the traffic counts prove what was anticipated.

"We are excited about the use of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway,” he said. “With only about two-thirds complete, the loop is already proving its worth to the community.”

He said when evaluating the numbers, it was important to keep in mind most of this traffic referred to was going around the historic courthouse.

“Several hundred trucks a day have been removed from the dangerous congestion around the square,” Riley said. “In a year, when the loop is finished, the Courthouse Square will become a more pleasant place to drive, walk and enjoy.”

Dennis Clayton, executive director with the Weatherford Economic Development Authority, echoed similar sentiments.

“The new west loop intersects with FM 920 at the Hobson Industrial Park, managed by the Weatherford Economic Development Authority (WEDA). The Industrial Park corporation Board and WEDA have anticipated since 2008, this increase in truck traffic along the route for highway access to and from IH20, for the existing industry and future industry in the industrial park and in the area,” Clayton said.

“Quality highway access is a top-2 criteria for new industry in all communities and the west loop enhances the new development of industrial areas and other intersection nodes along the route. We are pleased and excited about the truck traffic counts and always thank Parker County for the leadership for the completion of new West Loop.”

Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102 Twitter: @Lancewinter

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