Nearly two years after local officials broke ground on the project, the first section of a bypass road from RM 620 to RM 2222 is now open to traffic.

The Texas Department of Transportation said in a July 19 news release the northbound portion of the new bypass road is now open for use by the public. Vehicles driving northbound on RM 620 will be able to use the bypass to access eastbound RM 2222.

The southbound section of the bypass road will open at an unspecified later date, according to TxDOT. Bradley Wheelis, public information officer for TxDOT, said crews need to re-strip and install a turn bay for southbound RM 620 traffic before the southbound bypass lanes can open. Final work on the project is expected to finish by early 2022.

The bypass road cuts south of the existing RM 620 and RM 2222 intersection, just north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard, and will work to draw traffic flow away from the northernmost intersection. The new bypass intersects with RM 2222 near River Place Boulevard.

TxDOT on its website states the bypass road will help alleviate growing congestion near the Four Points area. A 2020 study from the state agency found travel times would increase by 40%-59% on the RM 2222 corridor between RM 620 and Ribelin Ranch Drive. Analysis in the study found travel times near Four Points could be reduced by as much as 60% with improvements to the corridor, such as the new bypass road.

Approximately 40,000 vehicles on an average daily basis drive on both RM 620 and RM 2222 at points near the bypass, recent state traffic counts show. An RM 620 feasibility study published in 2017 further projects that traffic will grow near the bypass by more than 30% by 2034.

In an email to Community Impact Newspaper, Wheelis stated TxDOT anticipates more than 36,000 drivers will use the bypass on an average daily basis once both directions of the roadway open. The state projects that number to increase to 54,300 average daily drivers by 2038.