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FORT WORTH North Texas drivers got a new way to get around starting Sunday.

The long-awaited Chisholm Trail Parkway opened in stages northbound through the day as workers removed barriers along the 27-mile route. The toll road was expected to be fully operational in time for Monday morning's rush hour. Southbound lanes were still closed as of late Sunday evening.

The $1.4-billion CTP offers motorists a faster (if more expensive) commute between Johnson and Tarrant counties along its route from Cleburne to downtown Fort Worth.

The pavement was opened to cyclists and runners on Saturday, but only as part of the opening weekend ceremony. There are no bike lanes or pedestrian walkways on the toll road.

Mike Moinihan, who lives in Fort Worth, said with few cars on the new road it was the perfect opportunity to take the doors off his Jeep and fly.

'Hulen is a mess, and now this will be very nice,' he said. 'I work downtown, so it's going to be perfect for me.'

Speed limits on the expressway range from 50 mph in Fort Worth to 70 in Cleburne.

Drivers with a TollTag will pay $9.82 for a round-trip along the full length of the Chisholm Trail Parkway (that's about 18 cents a mile); the price without a TollTag is $14.74 (27 cents a mile) for the same round trip. The rates are comparable to other toll roads operated by the North Texas Tollway Authority.

The American Automobile Association estimates that the average cost to operate a car is just under 60 cents per mile.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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