Growth in Northlake Means Traffic Headaches While Town Waits for FM 407 Expansion

What to Know

  • New housing developments could soon quadruple the size of Northlake -- a Denton County town.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation is considering an expansion of FM 407, a major east-west corridor in the area.
  • Northlake's mayor says the project to expand the road is taking too long.

Traffic problems along a major thoroughfare in Denton County are about to get worse. New housing developments will quadruple the size of Northlake. The town's mayor says FM 407 isn't big enough to handle that kind of volume.

Mayor Peter Dewing said the issue could have been avoided with better planning.

When Allison Johnson moved to Northlake, she thought she was getting away from traffic.

"Coming from the other side of Dallas, the traffic was a little bit more than here," she said.

On FM 407, that's changing.

"It's gotten a little bit thicker over time," Johnson said. "In the months that we've been here."

Northlake is growing. Dewing said the main east-west road between Argyle and Justin -- and through his town --can't keep up.

"With 5,000 to 7,000 homes going in between the three communities, that two-lane country road is not going to handle that traffic," he said.

Dewing's biggest concern is safety. TxDOT said it planned to expand FM 407 -- but the mayor said that's still at least two years away, depending on funding.

"I've heard zero good reason why it's been delayed," Dewing said.

The mayor believed TxDOT has been reactive instead of proactive, when it comes to FM 407. He said one town resident told him talk of expanding the road dates back to the early 1970s.

"They're waiting until development occurs," Dewing said.

TxDOT said it is conducting a feasibility study to determine the best path forward. A spokesman said with such rapid growth in the region, TxDOT is "constantly working with cities and counties in North Texas to identify areas of need."

When it happens, FM 407 would expand to four lanes -- with room to grow to six.

"I think it's a good idea to help with traffic flow," Johnson said. "I think it might affect the small town feel that Justin and Argyle and everyone else is going for."

With thousands of new homes going up -- and thousands of new drivers -- big changes are unavoidable.

"As Denton County expands and as people move into new houses and developments out here, it's something that's going to have to be necessary,” she said.

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