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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 4:00 AM

Governor celebrates Samsung Highway completion

Ceremony speakers celebrate Samsung Highway ribbon cutting. From left: Tucker Ferguson, TxDOT Austin District engineer, Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles, Governor Greg Abbott, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell and Chanhoon Park, Samsung construction president. Photo by Jason Hen

Governor Greg Abbott said the recently finished Samsung Highway will be the “gateway to the largest foreign direct investment in the history of the state of Texas” during a ceremony Friday morning.

“The main thing I would like to convey today is the pride the state of Texas has in partnering with Samsung,” Abbott said. “You are a tremendous partner. With each passing day, Samsung etches a deeper legacy in the history of our great state.”

Abbott came to Taylor as part of a ribbon-cutting event Friday, June 7, that took place on the road itself.

The governor was paired with Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell, Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles, Chanhoon Park, Samsung’s construction president, and Tucker Ferguson, TxDOT Austin District engineer.

While portions of Samsung Highway have been open for some time, the event commemorated the completion of its Segment 1 and Segment 2 projects.

“Samsung Highway will provide our engineers, our partners and our vendors safe and reliable access to the Taylor site,” said Park, who oversees the company’s construction projects across the globe. “It will also help us to deliver our product to our customers.”

Gravell, who largely served as the master of ceremonies for the ribbon cutting, told Abbott that he has more plans and hopes for Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s Taylor fab plant.

The county judge said he doesn’t want Williamson County to have the largest semiconductor manufacturing complex in the state, but the biggest in the world.

“I want to drive the semiconductor industry from right here in this cornfield in Taylor, Texas, with our partner Samsung,” Gravell said.

The highway’s ribbon cutting also celebrated the completion of several road projects in the southwest Taylor area including the reconstruction and expansion of County Road 401, improvements to County Road 404 and Farm to Market 973 and water line realignment on CR 404.

Boles said CR 401 work not only expanded the road, but added a traffic signal at Texas 79. He said FM 973 now has turn lanes and a turn signal into the Samsung Austin Semiconductor fab.

Lastly, he said Samsung Highway created a new connection from the semiconductor to the future East Wilco Highway.

“A good road, like the Samsung Highway, means safety and opportunity,” Boles said. “This road, along with other southeast Williamson County improvements, means great opportunities for those in Taylor, Hutto and eastern Williamson County.”

Boles added he expects the projects to decrease traffic.

Ferguson talked about when he and his TxDOT district initially got word of the highway project.

Ferguson said that he initially did not think the transportation project would be completed in the county’s timeline due to design and approval timelines. However, he said county officials already had plans and the go ahead in place by the time he started.

“They had this notion for many, many years,” Ferguson said. “That’s the partnership I’d really like to talk about with Williamson County. We talk about partnering and partnerships all across our district and all across the state, but I would say there’s probably not another that matches the quality and the aggressiveness of Williamson County."


Taylor Press