Chisholm Trail Parkway near Fort Worth, Texas

By Jason Zasky on December 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm EST

In its time, the now-legendary Chisholm Trail was one of the main routes that cowboys utilized to drive herds of cattle from south Texas up to Fort Worth and beyond.

In much the same way, the 27.6 mile Chisholm Trail Parkway under construction will soon offer Texas motorists safe, swift, north-south passage – in this case from Cleburne up to downtown Fort Worth – thereby opening a “game changing” transportation corridor, one that will encourage economic development at both ends of the Parkway."¨"¨

The ambitious $1.6 billion project is a collaborative effort between the North Texas Tollway Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the cities of Fort Worth, Burleson and Cleburne, among others.

“We are going to open nearly 28 miles of tollway on a single day in mid-2014,” says Michael Rey, Media Relations Manager for the North Texas Tollway Authority, noting that the long-awaited project has been on the drawing board since the 1960s. "¨"¨“There is great excitement in Cleburne and to the south,” Rey says, alluding that residents are looking forward to bypassing any congestion on I-35 while gaining easier access to southwest Fort Worth.

And thanks to high-tech toll collecting equipment, the road will be free of toll booths, which will encourage the free flow of traffic. "¨"¨Fittingly, the roadway will have a decidedly local look and feel, particularly on the northernmost section, where drivers will enjoy custom landscaping.

Motorists will also take note of what has been described as a “modern zigzag motif” along the “Southwest buff color” walls of the Parkway, as well as a number of large-scale mosaic tile murals, which are being developed by artists Norie Sato and Lorna Jordan. In spirit, then, the Chisholm Trail Parkway will be a reflection of modern-day North Texas, Rey explains. "Much as the Chisholm Trail once exemplified both Fort Worth and Texas in general.”

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We want the young professionals to be involved in Fort Worth as early as possible, and hopefully for a lifetime. They are the future, and we want their input now.

Brianna Broussard, program manager, Vision Fort Worth