Emergency crews hope new road will help them avoid I-35 backlog

29.5 mile road now complete, total bill $68M.
29.5 mile road now complete, total bill $68M.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new road open to drivers in Williamson County could help you avoid Interstate 35 gridlock. Ronald Reagan Boulevard now extends from the interstate in Jarrell to Ranch-to-Market 1431 on the northeast side of Cedar Park.

“It’s a lot less traffic than south MoPac, 360, Bee Cave,” said William Jabour, who was out for a bike ride along the new stretch. “(It has) a nice shoulder and it’s peaceful ride.”

Jabour is a firefighter in Liberty Hill. He’s also training for the biking and running duathlon championships in Spain.  But he knows the quiet ride won’t last.

The last 6.25 mile stretch of road opened Wednesday, tying together nearly 30 miles of new access between Cedar Park and Jarrell. It also offeres a new way for emergency vehicles to avoid I-35 altogether during traffic jams.

“It makes a huge difference as far as getting to an emergency scene, to an accident” added Jabour, “and not having to detour around county roads and back roads.”

Williamson County EMS commander William Knipsteain says Ronald Reagan Boulevard will be a life saving artery.

“Once we have our patient in our ambulance, we want to get them to the hospital that best suits them,” said Knipstein, “and this will certainly help with that, (especially) with Cedar Park medical center and Round Rock medical center being on the west side.”

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