Expect Closures, Delays From US 75 Expansion

TxDOT's plans to widen highway mean long-term, short-term closures

Drivers along U.S. 75 are bracing for more time sitting in traffic thanks a major expansion project.

The Texas Department of Transportation said it is trying to stay ahead of Collin County's rapid population growth with five road projects. The estimated $106 million expansion of U.S. 75 through McKinney is the biggest undertaking.

"This is the biggest project that's happened on this part of 75 in McKinney since it was built in the 1950s," said Barry Heard, TxDOT Collin County Area engineer.

TxDOT plans to add two lanes in each direction to the highway and widen the frontage roads within the next four years.

Susan Glen, of McKinney, said the construction projects have led to congested roads. She said she often adds between 30 minutes and an hour to her schedule to account for unpredictable traffic.

And she and other drivers can expect more delays. Traffic will be moved into temporary lanes this week, closing the northwest "jug handle" exit ramp, which runs from the U.S. 75 service road to Eldorado Parkway.

Heard said the closure could last several months.

"There is going to be a lot of inconsistency in the traffic that they're used to," he said.

The expansion project also will switch traffic from the southwest "jug handle" exit ramp from U.S. 75 to Eldorado Parkway for what TxDOT estimates will be about five days.

TxDOT said detours would be clearly marked and businesses in the popular shopping area will still be accessible.

But McKinney driver Marquita de Jesus said the delays means more of a traffic headache.

"In order to do any shopping, I have to take those exits," she said. "It's just frustrating because I have two young kids, having to wait in traffic."

The entire U.S. 75 expansion project is expected to be "substantially complete" by the summer of 2015.

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