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John King Blvd. bypass of Rockwall now complete, open to traffic

ROCKWALL – Drivers approaching Rockwall from the north and south on Hwy. 205 can now entirely bypass the city after the July 30 grand opening of the $19.6 million John King Blvd./I-30 overpass.

In the south, the 7.2 mile bypass branches off Hwy. 205 to the east from approximately the RISE (Rockwall Indoor Sports Expo) and reconnects to Hwy. 205 approximately one mile north of FM 552, just past the big, white, Colonial-style house on the hill.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday to celebrate the grand opening. Participants were federal, state, county, city, and TXDOT officials, plus  Chamber of Commerce, REDC representatives and members of the King family. Speakers included Rockwall Mayor David Sweet, County Judge Jerry Hogan, and King’s widow, Marilyn.

The late John King served for over a decade on the Rockwall City Council, Planning & Zoning Commission and REDC Board.

“John’s positive attitude and way of thinking was something that influenced everyone he came in touch with,” said his widow. “John dedicated his time and efforts to a place he called home– Rockwall.”

Hogan said city and county leaders came together on the project because they saw that transportation within the county was fragmented.

“That consortium that was started back in the early 2000s is the reason for this interchange, and it is the reason that the transportation plan for Rockwall County is viable and receiving funds when other Texas counties are not.”

According to Rockwall Director of Internal Operations Joey Boyd, the boulevard was constructed by the City at a cost of $44 million. The I-30 overpass was constructed by TXDOT and the contract amount is $19.6 million.

Construction on the seven-phase project began in 2007.

By J.J. Smith

 

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4 Responses for “John King Blvd. bypass of Rockwall now complete, open to traffic”

  1. J.J. Smith says:

    Thanks for your comments. The roadway was initially controversial for the reason you mentioned – because it was doubted that many would use it. It is presumed that John King Blvd. will become more utilized as the City grows larger.

    It was 3 County Commissioners who “went over the citizens’ heads” to build the enormous courthouse, not the City Council. Those three Commissioners are no longer in office. Chris Florance was voted out of office because he led the effort to build the courthouse. Jerry Wimpee just retired from office this year. Bruce Beatty was a lame duck and had already announced his retirement when he voted to support building it. Officials now believe (hope?) the “Taj Mahal” will fit well in Rockwall 10 years from now by the time the County population doubles. We can only hope!

  2. David says:

    This is a welcome road to go North/South in the city. Now we don’t have to struggle through the congested, nightmarish Goliad road that travels through downtown. Thanks Rockwall!

  3. Betsy says:

    I found it on the map myself, and my husband and I went for a drive on it today just to see what it was all about. We live at the north end of it, in The Shores, and honestly I can’t see any time that it would be useful for us to take it anywhere. Are there a lot of people living at the north or south of it, that want to get to the other end of it?? (?) With all respect for John King, it looks like a huge boondoggle to us. It also has at least two intersections that we deemed difficult and downright dangerous. Four-way stops please! or even stoplights.

    We were wondering if this is the same Rockwall City Council group that went over the citizens’ heads to build the enormous courthouse.

    Sorry, but this road seems like an incredible waste of our money.

  4. Betsy says:

    Would it be possible to include a map? Thank you.

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