Highway 75's HOV Lanes Will Soon Be Free for All Through Collin County, With 1 Catch

Commuters who use U.S. Highway 75 in Collin County may get some relief soon thanks to a "breakthrough agreement" to make the highway’s HOV lanes a free-for-all — most of the time, anyway.Deeming the HOV lanes between Sam Rayburn Tollway and LBJ Freeway "under-used and ineffective," the North Central Texas Council of Governments said it will open both lanes, one in each direction, for anyone to use.“The goal of this project is to increase the capacity of US 75 in order to make the fast-growing corridor more efficient for commuters, residents and businesses in the area,” Allen Mayor Steve Terrell said in a news release Wednesday. “Lanes that remain toll-free most of the time was a fair and equitable way to improve reliability.”The transition will begin this year, though the exact timeline remains unclear — and even after the changes there will be brief times when the lanes are still tolled.That's because federal law prohibits the lanes from becoming fully general-use, since the funding used to build them requires a high-occupancy vehicle component.State Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, called the law "archaic" but commended the new plan as the "best possible option."  Continue reading...

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