Local officials and residents celebrated the opening Wednesday of the north segment of the new Southwest Bypass, culminating a two-year-long construction process that was the largest roadwork project in Georgetown’s history.
The two-lane, 2.4-mile roadway, which connects Hwy. 29 and Leander Road, opens to traffic at noon Wednesday.
The $18.3 million project broke ground in 2016 after city officials secured funding through a transportation bond package approved by Georgetown voters in 2015. A separate south segment, overseen by Williamson County, will extend the roadway an additional 1.25 miles and open a new connection between Leander Road and the southbound I-35 frontage road.
Valerie Covey, the Precinct 3 commissioner for Williamson County, said that both segments will help alleviate congestion from traffic passing through Georgetown along Hwy. 29, which becomes University Avenue as it continues through the center of the city.
“This is a longtime coming to open this part up,” Covey said Wednesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city’s north segment.
Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said the Southwest Bypass has been in planning and development in some shape or form since the 1980s. The mayor said the north segment provides a “critical north-to-south connection” between Hwy. 29 and Leander Road, an area of Georgetown expected to see continued growth and development over the next decade.
Jordan Foster Construction was the contractor for the north segment, and engineering work was completed by HDR.
Construction of the $19.8 million south segment began in August 2017 should finish by late 2019 or early 2020. The south segment will pass through a portion of a limestone quarry owned by Texas Crushed Stone Co.