GRAPEVINE (DFWCOM.COM) – Drivers can now cruise through the DFW Connector without having to maneuver around construction cones or worry about detour signs.  After more than three years of construction and nine months ahead of schedule, the nearly eight-and-a-half mile project is done.

Crews are still working on the finishing touches — primarily cosmetic — but traffic is flowing.

“I think everybody is relieved.  We waited for this day,” said Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate.

The project is designed to ease congestion on Highways 114 and 121 in Grapevine.  At its widest point, the highway is now 24 lanes – and there are now 39 bridges, new ramps and frontage road lanes.

“The DFW Connector is built to reduce congestion and get people into, around and out of the airport faster and safer,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This project saved time and money, and it is built to serve residents and visitors in the Dallas/Fort well into the future.”

Drivers will save time as a result of the five reconstructed highway interchanges.  The project doubled the number of lanes drivers can use and added direct connect ramps were none existed before.  Nearly 200,000 drivers travel the roads affected by the project.

“Time is money, and Texas is saving taxpayers both with the DFW Connector,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “When it comes to building a model of transportation efficiency, the Lone Star State has done it faster, with a world-class transformation of highways that has raised the bar on project delivery.”

Business owners along the project are particularly relieved. Some businesses were forced to close during the construction.  Other business owners said they lost half their business.

“It’s been tough there has been a lot of things going on a lot of movement and traffic,” said Perry Leonard, owner of Blagg Tire & Service. “It’s great! I’m excited that it’s done! I’m not going to lie it’s great!”

The project cost $1.1 billion. It also includes toll lanes, which will open early next year.

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