An application for federal transportation funding was approved by Williamson County commissioners on April 30.

With the grant, the county will be able to move forward on an extension of the Samsung Highway, from FM 973 to SH 95.

“This new [east-west route] will provide an alternative to Hwy. 79, which experiences substantial traffic delays through Hutto and Taylor, in order to access I-35 and other major state highways in the area,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell wrote in a letter supporting the county’s application.


The U.S. Department of Transportation announced $5 billion in funding available for fiscal year 2025-26 in March, with project applications needing to be submitted by May 6. The grant program is known as the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant.

The county is requesting a $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation with a $10 million match. The county’s portion of the funding will be coming from the 2023 voter-approved road bond.

The project—referred to as the CHIPS Act Loop Jobs Connector project—will improve mobility for the high-tech production facilities going up in the area, such as the Samsung Austin Semiconductors plant in Taylor and the new facilities planned for the Megasite in Hutto, according to Gravell’s letter.

The new route will also reduce the increased freight traffic seen along Hwy. 79, which runs through the downtown areas in Hutto and Taylor.

“The investment is vital to the economy of Central Texas and aims to provide safe and reliable roadways in an area of rapid population and economic growth,” Gravell said.

The original scope of the project sought to connect FM 3349 to FM 973. However, more recent amendments to the county’s Long-Range Transportation Plan include the roadway connecting to SH 95.

The grant and county funding will be used for construction costs, with work expected to begin by spring 2027 and be completed by the end of 2028, according to county documents.