SAN MARCOS (KXAN) — A new project in San Marcos will provide drivers with an alternative route to the often-congested Interstate 35.

The Texas Department of Transportation said it broke ground on the FM 110 North Project Tuesday. When complete, the project will create an east-side loop which can be utilized as an alternative to I-35.

The $36.5 million project includes a section of new roadway from SH 80 to I-35 with one lane in each direction, 10-foot shoulders and a bridge over SH 21.

“Today, we celebrate a project that will transform transportation in Hays County,” said TxDOT Austin district engineer Tucker Ferguson.

Hays County funded both project development and right-of-way acquisition while TXDOT funded construction. This project has been in the works since the 1960s, according to Hays County Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe.

“There were many who doubted this project would ever be built,” said Ingalsbe. “Nevertheless, we’re here today breaking ground on this fantastic project that will bring so many opportunities to Hays County and the region.”

The FM 110 North project is the final of three projects that will complete the loop. The contractor is Webber, LLC.