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These stories are related to the proposed toll road to connect Greenville and Lavon.

Planners: 'Blacklands Corridor' needs study

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Mark Haslett
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The proposed toll road would follow the route of the old railroad line, which borders many homes in western Hunt County.

Northeast Texas communities, interested in the fate of the "Blacklands Corridor," await today's revision of the regional transportation plan.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments unveils the latest version of its regional transportation plan this afternoon in Arlington.

Proponents and opponents of the proposed Blacklands Turnpike are taking an interest. The plan to build a private toll road between Greenville and southeast Collin County has attracted much attention in recent months.

Many civic and business leaders in Greenville and points east have welcomed the plan, while residents in the path of the proposed tollway have organized opposition. In southeast Collin County, locals grappling with traffic and sprawl from suburban Dallas have expressed skepticism about the plan that could bring a new flow of traffic from Greenville and Northeast Texas.

Preliminary information from the council of governments indicates that the project needs more study before getting the thumbs-up from elected officials. Transportation division director Michael Morris called the studies, which the council will organize, as "homework that needs to be done."

Hunt County judge John Horn, an advocate of the toll road, complained that the calls for more studies represent "steps backward" in the process.

On the council's maps, the route is identified as "Blacklands Corridor," not "Blacklands Turnpike."

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.
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