I live outside of Tyler and I can tell you it is greatly needed. There are no freeways in Tyler and trying to get from one side of Tyler to the other is a frustrating drive of red light to red light. Widening Loop 323 would not do any good, there is too much built up on the loop and it is mostly six lanes. They have supposedly synchronized the lights, but they always seem to turn red when you get to the next one (so I guess that it is, but backwards).
I am still shocked they started Loop 49 from nowhere to nowhere and more shocked when I see a vehicle driving on it. The loop is supposed to be finished late next year to I-20 and I will be very willing to pay what they want to avoid Tyler. I wish it would have been built as a 4 lane road, but two lanes will work fine as long as I don't have to drive through Tyler to get to I-20.
The stretch from FM756 to SH 110 is in final paving and should be opening in a few months. I believe the stretch from SH155 to SH 31 should be opening after that. The stretch from SH 31 to I-20 is under construction and where it connects to I-20, the trees were cleared in the past two weeks.