TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The Chisolm Trail Parkway has been on the drawing boards in one form or another for more than 50 years. Weather permitting, it will now be on GPS maps as a viable option for travel between downtown Fort Worth and Cleburne.

The North Texas Transportation Authority plans to open the main lanes of the CTP this weekend, much to the delight of business-minded leaders in towns south of Cowtown.

“Over a hundred years ago, we had the railroad that came to Cleburne and it was a game changer,” said Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain. “This is that kind of game changer again.”

Cleburne has prepared for the opening of Chisolm Trail Parkway for years, putting in water and sewer lines and anticipating massive growth around the roadway.

“It’s going to double the size of our community in the next decade or so,” said Mayor Cain.

(credit: CBS 11 Art Dept.)

(credit: CBS 11 Art Dept.)

The 28 mile parkway is scheduled to open this weekend. But that doesn’t mean it’s finished. Work on flyovers and access ramps at I-20 and I-30 probably won’t be finished until late summer or early fall. There are still thousands of trees to be planted and public art to install. But, the transportation authority knows the wait for business has been long enough. So, the main lanes will be open to traffic as construction continues. In fact, many businesses are planning their opening around its  opening.

“We did,” said Kris Brown who opened her new car dealership near the tollway just days before the planned opening.  “We really wanted to be open at the same time or kind of equal to that.”

Brown raced to have her new dealership opened this week.  Monday was her first day of business.  The toll road is a huge piece of her business plan.  She expects her small car lot to grow right along with traffic on the tollway and the size of Cleburne.

“I think it will eventually be another Frisco, Grapevine, any area like that,” Brown said.  “I think its got potential growth. Huge growth.”

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