Interstate 30 between Rockwall and Greenville will be in a state of transition more or less indefinitely, although not continuously. The highway is being widened to improve carrying capacity and safety.
Chad McKeown: That would go from the Rockwall County line to US-380. So basically from the Rockwall County line to the city of Greenville, and then from Greenville to the east, we don’t have any improvements in the plan at this time.
Mark Haslett: If you’ve been on Interstate 30 around the Hunt-Rockwall county line, you know what I’m talking about. Seemingly endless construction. Trying to keep your vehicle in its lane next to scary retaining walls while huge trucks go roaring by. In fact, there’s a chance that might even be your reality while you’re listening to this. Huge piles of earth here, big holes in the ground there, making Royse City look like something out of Mad Max instead of the placid country town that we know it to be. It’s all for a good cause. Growth is coming and I-30 needs to enter the 21st century. Right now, Rockwall County is the focus of improvements. Chad McKeown is a program manager with the North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Division.
McKeown: In Rockwall County we’re looking at a widening from six lanes to eight lanes. That’s on the western part of the county there. Then as you go through from the city of Rockwall further east, we’re looking at a widening from the current four lanes to six lanes, and that would begin.. that would come online sometime in the 2020s. So by the year 2027, we have it in our plan.
Haslett: Yup, that’s a long ways into the future. That doesn’t mean that I-30 will be torn up continuously for the next 10 or 20 years. More like intermittently. The Council of Governments doesn’t implement the actual improvements. That organization identifies needs, recommends solutions, then the Texas Department of Transportation follows the plans laid out by the state and does the actual construction. The inevitable variables of funding and other factors make it hard to predict exactly when it will all happen. But we do know that after Rockwall’s good to go, Hunt County is next.
McKeown: So the widening that I talked about earlier, coming online by 2027, we have a similar widening from four to six lanes planned for I-30 in Hunt County, as well. That would come online sometime after that point, so sometime between 2027 and 2037. These are our air quality conformity years that we have to identify, so that’s why they’re a little unusual. So in that time-frame we have a widening similarly from four lanes to six freeway lanes.
Haslett: That widening of Interstate 30 to six lanes is currently planned to extend all the way out to the intersection of I-30 and Joe Ramsey Boulevard in Greenville. And that’s about as far as it’s set to go. At the moment. We’re talking decades into the future. And as anyone who followed the 2014 Northeast Gateway toll road story knows, plans can change. Particularly when communities come together and say yes, let’s do this or, no, let’s not do that. For KETR news, this is Mark Haslett.