KETR

Toll road meeting tonight in Rockwall

Sep 22, 2014

After a meeting was shut down earlier this month due to overcrowding, state transportation officials are going to try again Monday to present information regarding a possible toll road through the region between Greenville and Garland, as well as other issues.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has scheduled the public meeting at the Rockwall High School Performing Arts Center at The Utley Middle School campus. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Monday, with the public meeting starting at 6:30 p.m.

The session was reset after a public meeting on the evening of September 4 in Lavon was cut short due to exceeding maximum occupancy restrictions.

Credit NCTCOG

The NCTCOG is recommending a combination of strategies to help meet local and regional transportation needs in the area between Greenville and Garland, including new and widened arterials, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, Interstate 30 bottleneck improvements and a new freeway/tollway are reported to be among the recommended strategies.

The Texas Turnpike Corporation,  a private firm, has begun work to develop the potential tollway. Representatives from the company are expected to attend Monday’s meeting to answer questions and describe what residents can expect from a state-mandated environmental assessment the company intends to begin this fall.

Before a location for the proposed project can be determined, the Texas Turnpike Corporation must complete an environmental and public involvement process under the supervision of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The assessment must include a no-build option.

A feasibility study completed earlier this year about the region, which has been identified as the “Blacklands Corridor”, has reportedly indicated a need exists, particularly in the vicinity of Lake Ray Hubbard and Lavon Lake, for a new freeway/tollway. The study also assessed the impacts of adding general purpose and tolled managed lanes from the President George Bush Turnpike to the city of Greenville.

The study area encompasses U.S Highway 380 and Interstate 30, and includes portions of Collin, Dallas, Hunt, and Rockwall counties. The corridor is approximately 35 miles long from Garland to Greenville and covers a total of 440 square miles.

The Rockwall City Council passed a resolution during its August 4 meeting, opposing the proposed route, which is plotted to run through the city limits. The council cited a lack of information provided by NCTCOG as a major reason for opposing the project.

For those unable to attend Monday’s meeting, the NCTCOG has arranged a live online stream of the event, accessible from www.nctcog.org/blacklands.