Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter
The North Texas Tollway Authority revealed plans for expanding the Dallas North Tollway. Work could begin as early as January 2015.
Collin County drivers can look forward to a little extra growing room on the road, perhaps as early as 2018, thanks to a project to widen the Dallas North Tollway.
The six-lane toll road will gain an extra traffic lane in each direction from Belt Line Road in Dallas County up to the state Highway 121 interchange near Frisco.
"Certainly the backups at rush hour are telling us that there is a demand for the roadways, on the Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike," said North Texas Tollway Authority spokesman Michael Rey.
The plan, while less than a third of the way through its design stage, has been considered for years especially as the northern corridor has seen tremendous growth.
"They've always gone in with the idea that there will be widening," Rey added.
The plan is also to widen and improve the interchange between the DNT and the President George Bush Turnpike, two NTTA roads that often see backups during rush hour periods.
The project costs are still estimates.
Widening the DNT from Plano to Frisco, north of the PGBT, will cost an estimated $100 million.
The cost to expand the road south of the PGBT to Belt Line is still undetermined.
While the tollway authority said it already has most of the land acquired it needs to complete the expansion, Rey said the work immediately north of Belt Line will be "tight" in terms of space, adding they will be able to "make it work".
Improvements to the interchanges of the DNT and PGBT are also scheduled, with work on the north side estimated to cost $150 million.
Drivers like Addison's Blytha Butler said they're in favor of improvements to keep them out of traffic, but wary of the tollway authority's plan if it means potential for rising costs.
"If it's going to reduce some traffic, than I don't see anything wrong with it, but if it's going to make the cost higher, I don't think they should make improvements," she said.
Widening of the DNT through northern Dallas and part of Collin counties is estimated to be a three year project, work could begin as early as Jan., 2015.