Williamson County and city of Round Rock officials marked the completion of two separate projects to widen sections of University Boulevard on July 20.

What happened: Officials held a ribbon-cutting for two separate projects to widen University Boulevard from I-35 to Sunrise Road and from A.W. Grimes Boulevard to SH 130. The section spanning I-35 and Sunrise Road saw the roadway expanded to six lanes, with dual turn lanes at the intersections of Oakmont Drive and University Oaks Boulevard to address traffic congestion and reduce accidents. From A.W. Grimes Boulevard to SH 130, the road was widened to four lanes with a raised median to increase traffic capacity. Funding for the projects, which totaled $23 million, came from Williamson County, the city of Round Rock and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The backstory: Construction of the roadway improvements took around two years to complete, officials said, but planning for a wider University Boulevard goes back as far as 2013 when it was approved as part of the county's road bond package. Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook said the digging alone for the western portion of the project took eight months as contractors worked to relocate utilities. Another time-consuming aspect of the project was right-of-way acquisition, said Gary Hudder, Round Rock's transportation director. He said more than 400 parcels of land had to be acquired for the expansion.

What they're saying: "When cities and counties have an opportunity to share the cost to help benefit our taxpayers, we ought to be doing it, and if we're not doing it, shame on us," Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. "I'm proud to brag about the relationship we have with the county."