A long-planned highway meant to alleviate traffic congestion for anticipated population growth in northern Collin and Denton counties has taken great strides toward its development this month.
It's called the Collin County Outer Loop and the Collin County commission approved the acquisition of a large parcel of land in Celina that will eventually form part of the Outer Loop route, between Preston and Custer roads. The commissioners also approved a contract to begin construction of a separate portion of the Outer Loop between the Dallas North Tollway and Preston Road, according to a report in the Community Impact newspaper.
The Outer Loop will run from the Collin and Denton county lines toward the east and the south down into Rockwall County.
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Traffic congestion, already a daily concern along routes like State Highway 380, will become a much greater problem with the projected population growth in Collin County.
By 2050, Collin County is expected to have more people than either Dallas or Tarrant counties. Some cities, like Celina, will see their population explode in the coming decades.
As recently as 2010, Celina had a population of just over 6,000 people. Today, more than 20,000 people live in Celina. By 2050, Celina is projected to have a population of over 350,000 people, which would rival nearby cities like McKinney and Frisco.
"Celina was not the same Celina two years ago, it won’t be the same Celina two years into the future," said Alexis Jackson, Director of Economic Development for the City of Celina. "So it is our job to protect why people moved here – the authenticity, the charm. But we cannot shut the gates. It is coming no matter what."
According to Jackson, approximately 300 people move to Celina every month, and the city is asked to consider approximately 100 new building permits every month.