What to Know
- The NTTA has started a $200 million construction project to widen Sam Rayburn Tollway in Denton and Collin counties.
- The NTTA expects the numbers of travelers on Sam Rayburn Tollway to increase by 13 million by 2022.
- The construction project is scheduled to be completed in late 2021.
A busy stretch of highway between Lewisville and McKinney is getting a face lift. Expanding the Sam Rayburn Tollway is designed to accommodate a North Texas population expected to grow by several million people in the coming decades.
Construction is already underway in Denton and Collin counties on a $200 million project that the North Texas Tollway Authority said will allow the Sam Rayburn Tollway to handle more traffic -- with less congestion.
"I think it's a great highway," Kerri McDaniel, of Allen, said.
McDaniel said she takes the Sam Rayburn Tollway several times a week. She said she doesn't mind paying a little extra to travel. But during rush hour, she knows the ride will take longer.
"It gets crammed up when you're coming from Allen toward Frisco," she said. "It gets backed up there, every morning or late evenings."
Traffic is only expected to get worse with growth. In response, NTTA recently began a project to expand Sam Rayburn Tollway from three lanes each direction to four.
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"With all the giant companies moving to this area, we're certainly seeing more traffic on our roadways," NTTA spokesperson Michael Rey said. "So to do that, to deal with it, we are widening the roadway."
Rey said most of the construction work would be done during off peak times.
"Overwhelmingly, most of the work should be done in the middle of the road, which is already walled off," he said. "So it should impact drivers minimally."
NTTA measures traffic by user transactions -- the number of trips through toll stations. That number is projected to grow by 13 million by 2022.
"Any expansion on the highway is great," McDaniel said. "You can never have too much freeway. I think it will be a good thing, because the area's growing so fast."
A similar NTTA road-widening project is underway on the President George Bush Turnpike. The Sam Rayburn Tollway expansion is scheduled to be finished by late 2021.