By Matt Thomas | @MattThomasNews
Collin County has its fair share of big road projects. One is wrapping up and another is just getting underway.
75 Central Expressway from Plano into McKinney has been under construction for some time with much of the work now winding down. For the three years the In Bloom Flowers shop has been in business on 75 at El Dorado Parkway in McKinney, it’s been big trucks, heavy equipment, piles of dirt and detours as far as the eye can see.
“The service road, yeah, there could be like 30 cars at least and the light will change maybe three or four times. It’s a good 15 minutes to get across,” said In Bloom Flowers employees Jenny and Denna.
It’s all part of the complete overhaul of 75 that’s actually a two-phase project, first from 380 down to 121, and then from that point down to Spring Creek parkway in Plano. The McKinney portion is on track for completion in January 2016, and the southern stretch will be substantially done a year from then.
“We’re reconstructing and widening from four to eight lanes,” said TxDot’s Michelle Releford, who added that the overpasses are also being re-done.
Releford says, “The McDermott bridge is just all but done and that has been a huge piece of property.”
TxDot says it has been mindful of the impact on businesses like In Bloom Flowers.
“When the dirt went down, we did get more business. More visibility,” Denna said.
To those curious as to why the growing pains have been going on for so long, Releford says once they start digging, they never know what they’re going to find. “There are always utilities in the way, always,” Releford said.
As the 75 project winds down, an improvement project is just underway on the Dallas North Tollway north of the George Bush Turnpike.
“We built for the traffic loads expected throughout the 90s and early aughts, and now as we project we have so much flow from Frisco and points north in Collin County,” said Michael Rey with the North Texas Tollway Authority.
The NTTA is adding a lane on each side of the Tollway to 121 The Sam Rayburn Tollway and addressing some frustration with the ramps at the George Bush/Tollway interchange.
Video of the planned Dallas North Tollway expansion
Rey says, “That’s where the weave takes place, the crossing of traffic near Park Boulevard. That’s going to go away with the new configuration and we think it’s going to make a big difference.”
The project won’t totally wrap up until around 2018, and until then, the speed limit has been knocked down to 60.
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