Southwest Bypass Project expected to ease traffic on I-35

The Southwest Bypass project is expected to ease traffic congestion along I-35 (KXAN Photo\Lauren Kravets).
The Southwest Bypass project is expected to ease traffic congestion along I-35 (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets).

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Williams Drive at Interstate 35 is the busiest intersection in the city of Georgetown. “I try to avoid it as much as I can because of all the traffic,” explains Georgetown driver Cyndie Coulter.

But it won’t be long before some drivers can skip that area, as the city and county team up for the Southwest Bypass project.

Construction is already underway on the city’s part, extending DB Wood Road from Highway 29 to Leander Road, bringing cars around the interstate. The county is funding a segment of the road which will run from Leander Road, more than a mile south and loop around to I-35.

Coulter lives near the future road. “I’m very happy about avoiding 35 in any direction.”

But Coulter has heard neighborhood concerns about the new road possibly bringing more traffic to Leander Road. “It’s hard to know which direction they’ll go once they get to Leander Road, so I think we can’t be worried about it. It’s going to be great for us to have the access to 29 and further north.”

The stretch of road from State Highway 29 to Leander Road is expected to be done by fall of 2018. A groundbreaking for the county’s segment is set for Aug. 28, and should be done by summer of 2018. The county will still have one segment left to complete its portion of the project.

The money for the project is coming from two different bond elections. The city’s portion is covered by a 2015 bond, when voters in Georgetown overwhelmingly approved $105 million for road improvements.

The money from that bond is helping fund 19 other projects throughout the city, including expanding D B Wood Road to five lanes and adding and maintaining the city’s 140 miles of sidewalk.

The county’s portion is covered by a bond passed in 2013, which is also helping to improve safety on RM 620 by extending North Mays Street, and widening University Boulevard and Neenah Avenue.

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