With his family and friends by his side, Tylerite Earl Campbell and Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass officially opened the new Earl Campbell Parkway Thursday.

The two-mile stretch of roadway will connect Highway 155 to WSW Loop 323. The four lane roadway features bike lanes, and a raised median landscaped with rose bushes and nearly two hundred trees.

The football Hall of Famer jokingly told a crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony, “that when you drive on the new roadway, don’t speed, because Earl Campbell will be watching you”.

Tyler City Councilman Ralph Caraway said the $16.4 million dollar Project was funded by Tyler’s half- cent sales tax and is completely paid for.

City Engineer Carter Delleney said the project was started in 2005 and construction of the Earl Campbell Parkway began in 2010. The new roadway will be a much needed east-west connection and alleviate traffic on Loop 323.