Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Construction begins on 75 in McKinney
The widening of U.S. 75 through McKinney and northward is badly needed due to the rapid population growth in the area.
McKinney residents and those passing through the city will this week see evidence of a major construction project on U.S. Highway 75 (Central Expressway) between the Sam Rayburn Tollway and U.S. Highway 380.
Michelle Releford, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) public information officer, said the contractor, W.W. Webber, occupied the corridor earlier this week.
The first signs that work is under way will be orange flags and cones marking utilities to be located along the frontage roads. Releford said it will likely be several weeks before the contractor actually starts moving dirt to begin construction of an extra frontage road and two extra lanes each way.
The project between Sam Rayburn and 380 on U.S. 75 is a part of a four-year program to widen U.S. 75 from two lanes and two frontage lanes uneach way to four lanes and three frontage lanes in each direction. The $106 million project will result in eight main lanes and six frontage roads.
TxDOT plans to eventually widen U.S. 75 all the way to Fosters Crossing, north of Melissa, with the construction to be completed in five separate projects.
One of those projects is between U.S. 380 and Bloomdale Road, which is already underway and expected to be completed before the end of the year. Then, TxDOT will begin a widening project between Bloomdale Road and State Highway 121 north of McKinney.
Releford said the planned project between SH 121 and Fosters Crossing is still in environmental negotiations but is expected to eventually be approved.
She said the widening of U.S. 75 through McKinney and northward is badly needed due to the rapid population growth in the area. Collin County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, with a 61 percent population increase between 2000 and 2010, she said.
Barry Heard, Collin County interim area engineer, said, "Frisco and McKinney are two of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and the challenge to meet transportation needs has never been greater."
During construction, motorists can expect various main-lane closures during weekdays and some weekends, Releford said. Several bridges will be demolished and rebuilt.
"This will necessitate closing main lanes of traffic and diverting traffic onto frontage roads past the bridge work to the next highway entrance," she said. "Every consideration will be given to maintaining traffic flow and to the safety of the traveling public."
She said message boards will notify motorists before major lanes are closed.
"TxDOT would like to thank area drivers for their patience and cooperation as crews work diligently to complete this vital project as soon, and as safely, as possible," she said.
Additional transportation information is available at www.txdot.gov or on Twitter under the name @TxDOTDallasPIO.
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