Motorists making a journey from Port Arthur, Texas, to Yellowstone National Park on U.S. Highway 287 will have several minutes trimmed off the trip upon completion of the long-awaited four-lane bypass around Ennis.

The two-lane Ennis bypass, opened in the early 1990s, but, with the passage of just a few years, it became obvious the corridor wouldn’t efficiently handle the traffic.

John Kiser, construction engineer for Texas Department of Transportation in the Ellis County area, said progress was being made on the construction of the additional lanes.

“Things are going well, although construction crews have been dealing with inclement weather, construction crews have started back up working continuously and we’re seeing progress,” Kiser said. “A temporary northbound exit ramp at Ennis Parkway is just about in place.”

He noted that when the four lanes are opened, a final hot mix surface will be added and the highway will look good, deliver a smooth ride for motorists and will be a better quality.

The new bypass is targeted for completion in December 2012 at a construction contract price of $34,654.758.76.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.