This November, residents in Collin County can vote on a $750 million transportation bond that will, among other projects, help to fund the creation of an entirely new north-south highway somewhere east of U.S. Highway 75.
The population growth of Collin County is outpacing that of Dallas and Tarrant counties in recent years, and the overall population of Collin County, according to some projections, is expected to exceed both Dallas and Tarrant counties by 2050.
To that end, local governments have started the process of determining the potential route for a new freeway that could eventually connect all the way down to Interstate 20 in Dallas or Kaufman counties.
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“We want to be real careful here. We want to impact as few people as possible,” said Collin County Judge Keith Self. “But at the end of the day we need to start the planning for a major road somewhere on the east part of the county.”
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) created a regional transportation plan called Mobility 2040 that looked at the impact that increased population and recommended highway projects, including the creation of a new highway in Collin County.
Mobility 2040 projects that by 2040 the population of Dallas-Fort Worth will have grown from an estimated 7,235,508 people in 2017 to 10,676,844 people.
As of 2017, the report noted that the average person already spends 72 hours delayed in traffic. By 2040, if the recommendations are made, that number will have still risen to 114 hours spent, in average, in traffic per year. But if the recommendations, including the creation of a new highway in Collin County, are not made, the projection is that by 2040 people will spend an average of 199 hours stuck in traffic.
By comparison, in Los Angeles – a city that is known for its prolific gridlock – drivers spent at average of 102 hours in traffic last year.