Catherine Ross, Plano Journalist
The once thriving business owners along Highway 75 may take a hit once freeway construction begins.
In the near future, the Texas Department of Transportation will begin a major project in McKinney – widening U.S. Highway 75.
“It’s going to be a roughly doubling of the capacity of the roadway,” said Matt Richardson, McKinney Capital Improvements Manager.
Richardson says the idea of adding lanes to both the highway and its frontage roads has been in the works for years.
Work will begin just north of the Sam Rayburn Tollway, just about a block from where Alex Tesfaye operates his cigar shop.
“The convenience of this location makes the business really good because it’s right by the freeway,” he said.
However, Tesfaye worries his shop’s location, which has long been in a good position to attract traffic from all over Collin County, could soon be a burden if traffic is redirected.
While he sees the need and the potential benefits down the road, he worries about being able to keep his doors open.
“As a citizen, the freeway is supposed to be widened. As a business owner, it’s going to hurt me,” Tesfaye said.
Richardson says from what TxDOT has communicated to the city, the whole project could take several years, but they are willing to wait it out for what the city sees as long term benefits.
“When it’s all said and done, it’s going to be a great benefit to the community,” he said.