According to the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), all major traffic movements on the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT) and US 75 Interchange are expected to be fully operational by the end of January. This will almost complete the SRT project. The major piece left will be the interchange at the Dallas North Tollway (DNT), which is scheduled to be opened in early 2012.
After touring the project, the NTTA sent over the following facts concerning the SRT (it’s still difficult not to call this 121) that I thought you might find interesting:
* Overall the SRT is approximately 26 miles in length, stretching from Denton Tap Road in Denton County to east of US 75 in Collin County, linking the region’s fastest-growing communities with DFW International Airport;
* The SRT consists of 40 miles of concrete traffic barriers and over 277 acres of concrete pavement;
* The volume of concrete used in constructing the SRT is enough to build a five-foot-wide sidewalk from Dallas to Minneapolis;
* The square foot area of concrete walls along the tollway is approximately the same square foot area as the face of the Hoover Dam;
* The SRT/US 75 Interchange is designed to handle 238,000 vehicles per day;
* 16 million pounds of steel beams are being used to construct the SRT/DNT Interchange. This is enough steel to reconstruct the Eiffel Tower or build 1 ½ Gateway Arches in St. Louis;
* The SRT project used approximately 4 million cubic yards of fill, which was equates to 400,000 dump truck loads of dirt;
* If the dump trucks that hauled the dirt were lined up from end to end, they would stretch close to 1,890 miles — greater than the distance from Dallas to Boston;
* The SRT has more than a half acre of aluminum signs; and
* The sod used to cover this project would cover 325 football fields or three 18-hole golf courses.
Most important about this project is that Collin County received approximately $1.4 billion in funding from the NTTA for future transportation projects. This funding is called Regional Toll Revenue (RTR) funds.
RTR funds will be used on the US 75 expansion, which will be well under way by this time next year. The total scope of the US 75 expansion is from Spring Creek Parkway in Plano north through Allen, McKinney and Melissa to the Outer Loop just south of Anna.
In addition RTR funds are also being used for the expansions of virtually every major thoroughfare throughout Collin County including:
- 121 through Melissa
- FM 455 in Anna
- US 380 through Farmersville
- US 78 through the Wylie and Lavon areas
- US 380 through Frisco
- US 289 through Prosper and Celina
- Custer Road in McKinney
With the state facing a $25 billion shortfall it is safe to say that there will not be any new funding for transportation coming out of the legislature next year. It is the RTR funding from the Sam Rayburn Tollway that is keeping Collin County’s major transportation projects moving and our economic development growing.
I look forward to keeping you updated on these important projects.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,
The overall health status of Collin County residents has been named the best of all Texas counties, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Collin County is ranked first in health factors, which are what influences the health of a county, and ranked second in health outcomes, which represent the current health of a county.
The Population Health Institute’s report ranks all the counties within a state according to a number of factors affecting health outcomes (length of life and quality of life) and health factors (health behaviors, access to and quality of healthcare, social and economic factors, environment, and programs and policies). Under health outcomes:
• Collin County ranked first in mortality, which is based on the length of life as a measure of premature death, or the years of potential life lost prior to age 75
Under health factors:
• Collin County ranked first in health behaviors, which includes measures of smoking, diet, exercise, and alcohol use
• The county also ranked first in social and economic factors, which measures education, employment, income, family and social support, and community safety
• Collin County ranked third in clinical care, which measures access to care and the quality of care.
Texas is made up of 254 counties, 221 of which were included in this study. Due to data coverage limitations, not all Texas counties were included in the analysis.
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings report, underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is the first time counties across the country can get a picture of their residents’ health as a comparison to other counties within their state. For more information about the institute and this project, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org. This article also appears at www.collincountytx.gov.
This weekend, the contractor building the new Sam Rayburn Tollway/U.S. 75 (Central Expressway) interchange will permanently close the existing ramp to travel from southwest-bound State Highway 121 to southbound U.S. 75 in McKinney.
Crews will begin the work required to close the ramp at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 8, 2010, and complete the work at 5 a.m. Sunday, May 9, 2010.
The road closure will begin at the existing exit from southwest-bound SH 121 to southbound U.S. 75. (SH 121 is the name of the Sam Rayburn Tollway frontage road. SH 121 in this area is also known as Spur 399, which extends just east of U.S. 75 to the intersection with SH 5.)
The closed ramp will be replaced by a new permanent direct-connector that is currently under construction and scheduled to open in December 2010.
In the interim, all motorists wishing to travel from southwest-bound SH 121 to southbound U.S. 75 will detour over U.S. 75 to Hardin Boulevard, then make a U-turn under the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT) main lanes and travel on the northeast-bound frontage road to reach the U.S. 75 southbound main lanes.
The contractor will place signs to notify motorists of the permanent ramp closure and to mark the detour route.
The contractor’s ongoing work is part of the NTTA’s SRT/U.S. 75 interchange project in McKinney, Allen and Fairview. The four-level interchange will feature six direct-connect ramps between the SRT and U.S. 75 to provide motorists with main lane access between the two roadways. The frontage roads will be connected by a “loop ramp” configuration, which allows drivers to access the frontage roads on non-stop, circular connections.
The NTTA appreciates the traveling public’s patience during the ongoing construction and reminds everyone to drive safely in work zones.
All closures are subject to weather conditions and will be postponed, if necessary.
For more information about upcoming lane closures and traffic-related news along NTTA roadways, call (214) 224-3030 or go to the “Lane/Ramp Closures” listing at www.ntta.org.
The County Line
Below are the latest population numbers released by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (COG). Overall, Collin County grew by 19,350 people last year. This averages to 53 new residents a day moving into Collin County. Listed below are the figures for cities over 1,000 in population:
2000 2009 2010 09-10%
Collin Co 491,675 766,900 786,250 2.52%
Allen 43,554 82,800 84,200 1.69%
Anna 1,225 8,100 8,250 1.85%
Celina 1,861 5,100 5,200 1.68%
Fairview 2,644 8,950 9,100 1.68%
Farmersville 3,118 3,350 3,350 0.00%
Frisco 33,714 100,800 107,050 6.20%
Lavon 387 2,250 2,550 13.33%
LowryCross. 1,229 1,350 1,350 0.00%
Lucas 2,890 5,350 5,400 0.93%
McKinney 54,369 121,850 126,900 4.14%
Melissa 1,350 4,400 4,600 4.55%
Murphy 3,099 13,500 13,700 1.48%
Parker 1,379 3,500 3,600 2.86%
Plano 222,030 263,800 265,000 0.45%
Princeton 3,377 5,950 6,400 7.56%
Prosper 2,097 7,100 9,350 31.69%
Wylie 15,132 38,300 39,000 1.83%
Rural Area 36,382 53,300 54,050 1.41%
More than half of last year’s growth throughout the sixteen county North Texas region took place in ten cities. Fort Worth grew by 15,950 to a total population of 736,200. Dallas increased by 10,000 new residents for a total population of 1,316,350. Frisco added 6,250 residents to bring the city’s population to 107,050. McKinney came in fourth by adding 5,050 people to bring its total population to 126,900 and Denton rounded out the top five by adding 3,050 people to bring its total population to 110,300.
Rockwall, Prosper, Mesquite, Richardson and Irving are the remainder of the top ten fastest growing cities in the region with Prosper adding 2,250 new people for a 31.69% growth rate. Like last year, three of the top ten fastest growing cities in the region are in Collin County.
COG also estimates that by 2030 Collin County’s population will be approximately 1.2 million citizens. This means that over the next twenty years another 413,750 people will be moving to Collin County which will result in a 52% increase in our population. While growth has slowed in the last couple of years, Collin County is still ranked as the 13th fastest growing county in the nation.
(County Commissioner Joe Jaynes is also on Facebook.)