GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. -- The Highway 289 extension project has been years in the making, but the dream became a reality on Tuesday as the official groundbreaking was held for the project. Stephanie Brletic has more.
The new project is said to cost about $60 million. Officials from Grayson County, TX-DOT, and Austin Bridge (the company building the roadway,) along with many others, all worked together to make the extension possible.
The extension will run from Highway 56 all the way to FM 120 near Pottsboro. The road will initially be built as a two lane highway with shoulders on each side, but will eventually be expanded into a four-lane divided highway.
Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum says when the extension opens it's also going to open doors for the county.
"If people can get around, then that gives them a better quality of life. From an economic development standpoint, we can attract more people and more jobs and that's a good thing for Grayson County and a good thing for the state of Texas," Bynum says.
The current highways are getting busier and busier with people moving from the Metroplex to north Texas, so officials say this expanding roadway through Grayson County is going to make a big difference when it comes to alleviating traffic.
"It’ll be an access for people to get off of [Interstates] 75 and 35, which will provide a quicker way to get to the Dallas/Ft.Worth area. With that, I think you'll see a number of businesses begin to move this way. As well as the businesses, you'll see a lot of residents start to move in."
Commissioner Gene Short played a big part of bringing this expansion to Grayson County and was awarded a Road Hand Award by TX-DOT. Short says he's excited about the groundbreaking and looks forward to the future.
"It’s very fulfilling to start the project. It's such a good project for the county, and we hope it'll develop the west side of the airport. We hope a lot of good things will come from it," said Short.
Representatives from Austin Bridge say they expect to start construction on April 14. The project should take a little more than a year to complete.