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Williamson County in charge of constructing most infrastructure around new Samsung facility

The county has budgeted more than $120 million to build and improve roads that lead to the rural Samsung property.

TAYLOR, Texas — In Williamson County and Taylor's development plan pitch to Samsung, millions of dollars of infrastructure will need to be planned and built to accommodate the new manufacturing facility.

Fortunately, the biggest piece – the Southeast Loop – is already under construction as part of Williamson County's long-term infrastructure plan first approved in 2009. The entire project is slated to cost about $190 million, with Williamson County paying for nearly two thirds of the roadway connecting SH 130 and US 79.

Divided into three segments, the road stretches from the two highways and will connect with the western edge of the new Samsung property development.

"It's been sped up a little bit because of Samsung, but I remember vividly going to the governor's office going, 'Hey, we don't have the financial resources to do this entire Southeast Loop,'" Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

The project, broken down into three phases, started construction earlier this year.

While Williamson County will put up about $123 million for the project, the Texas Department of Transportation will pitch in $67 million for Phase 3, while Samsung chips $6 million for other roadways around their new facility.

"Between the county, Samsung and the State, all partners working together, we are moving really progressively on the transportation part of infrastructure," Gravell said.

The roads project is just one part of the infrastructure needed to support the $17 billion facility. Oncor Electric will provide the electricity, while Epcor – a Canadian company – will truck in water once the site is up and running.

Gravell touted the partnership between the various entities this week. At the same time, there may be federal dollars at play as well.

"The Senate passed a big infrastructure bill that's now been passed by the House," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Tuesday. "In addition, something you may not have heard as much about is the Senate passed a bill to give the states and counties and cities flexibility to spend their COVID-19 relief funds if they don't need them for COVID-19. Up to 30% of [that money] would be available for things like infrastructure and disaster relief."

Samsung is slated to start construction on the new Taylor facility in 2022, with plans to produce its first semiconductor chips from that location by the end of 2024.


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