The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and its Longview/Gregg County partners opened the new FM 2275/George Richey Road Extension with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monay morning.

The event held on location at the intersection of George Richey Road and Mickey Melton Boulevard in Longview’s North Business Park highlights the completion of the first segment of the $34.3 million project.

The George Richey Extension is being constructed in two phases as a new four-lane divided highway from U.S. 259 to SH 300 with a continuous center turn lane. It includes dedicated bicycle lanes in the shoulders as well as sidewalks on the south side of the new roadway.

The project adds a long-awaited and necessary east/west thoroughfare into the area that will ease congestion, improve safety, and yield economic benefits.

Today’s opening celebrates the completion of Phase I from US 259 westward to McCann Road which began in April 2014. Construction continues on the Phase II job which extends from McCann Road westward to SH 300/Gilmer Road. Work started last summer with an anticipated opening in 2018.

“Local elected officials and leaders saw a transportation need that has regional significance and found a way to address it", said Dennis R. Cooley, TxDOT Tyler District Engineer. “Without the partnership, this project would still be years down the road.”

“The importance of George Richey is what this project means to the community in terms of jobs, development and tax base for the future of Gregg County,” said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt. “The opening of George Richey will pave the way for both residential and commercial development and is a catalyst for economic growth.”

When completed, the George Richey Road/FM 2275 Extension will add approximately four miles of new roadway. The project will create a continuous thoroughfare from US 259 to US 271 north of Gladewater, relieve congestion in the greater Longview area, and provide additional access to the Longview North Business Park.