Traffic was diverted onto the access roads of I-20 and the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway (RWMH) Bridge last week as construction crews worked pouring concrete for the structure that stretched over both the east and westbound lanes.The work, which took place on March 18, lasted most of the day but the bigger news is that construction of the RWMH, from FM 51 North of Weatherford to I-20 west of town, is expected to be complete by the end of April, weather permitting.“We are all excited about the completion of the Western Loop,” County Judge Mark Riley said. “There was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new bridge May 14, 2013, and in less than a year, it is being completed.”He said the entire loop has been done within the original schedule and within the budget.“The contractors, Freese and Nichols and TxDOT have all worked together to see that we accomplish our goal,” Riley added.The next phase of the loop will be the eastern interchange at I-20 and Center Point Road.“The county has funds - savings from existing projects and what I have secured from the Regional Transportation Council - to pay for the interchange,” Riley said. “The cities of Hudson Oaks and Weatherford have to pay their share for access roads east and west of the interstate.”He said that the remaining projects, after the Western Loop bridge is completed, are FM 1187 into Aledo, which is a TxDOT project, and the Aledo Trail, which is a county effort. Those projects are scheduled for total completion by mid to late summer.“We have a plan, which is public, and always has been, done by TxDOT in 2004 for the entire loop west to east,” Riley said during the election season. “You funded the western portion with your $80 million,” referring to the county taxpayers passing the $80 million transportation bond in 2008, that included the Western Loop and approximately 30 other transportation projects.Riley, a member of the Regional Transportation Council which consist of 43 people will become Chairman in 2015.
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102 Twitter: @LanceWinter