CENTER, TX (KTRE) - A construction project that was nearly three years in the making is now complete. TxDOT recently put the finishing touches on the northern segment of State Loop 500 which will direct traffic around the City of Center.
"Our city has grown in traffic and in population and in so many different ways that this is necessary for us to be able to continue to grow and we're very excited about everyone who has participated to get us there," said David Chadwick, Mayor, City of Center.
One of the goals is to reduce congestion near downtown Center, good news for residents who've experienced large trucks traveling through Center's downtown.
"It will impact it from the big trucks coming through town tearing up our city square," said Joyce Johnson, who's lived in Center all of her life.
Others are concerned it might do more harm than good for the city.
"I don't see where it'll help the city that much. It'll take traffic away from the main strip down there and I got a feeling a lot of businesses will lose money," said Wayne Colbey, who travels the loop for work.
But Colbey says personally, he believes the addition will be beneficial.
"It'll be good for new now because I live in the Tenaha area and I drive through town. It's going to save me several red lights," Colbey said.
Several red lights and even some cash.
"A couple of dollars saved because I won't be stopping at that donut shop," Colbey said.
All in all, the new extension seems to be well received.
"One of the best things we've had in a long time," Johnson said.
TxDOT says signs for the new extension should be installed next week and will be open to drivers sometime in August.