State transportation officials have signed off on a major plan which means hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements across North Texas highways, and significant challenges for motorists driving to and through Rockwall County, in the near future.
The plan includes the widening of Interstate 30 to eight lanes from Bass Pro Drive to State Highway 205, to six lanes from SH 205 to FM 2642, adding freestanding, six-lane frontage roads alongside the Lake Ray Hubbard bridge and totally overhauling the highway interchanges at Dalrock Road and Horizon Road.
On Aug. 20, the Texas Transportation Commission approved TxDOT’s 10-year transportation plan that includes more than $77 billion dedicated to improving safety, addressing congestion and connectivity, and preserving roadways for Texas drivers.
The 10-year plan, called the 2020 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), contains more than $4 billion for safety improvements, including an extra $600 million for the next two years to help accelerate even more safety measures in an effort to reduce crashes and eliminate fatalities from roadways by 2050. Many of these improvements will widen roads; improve median barriers and bridges; upgrade guardrails; provide intersection improvements, such as upgraded traffic signals and signage; and make safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The biggest project in the immediate area was the $120.5 million effort along the interstate between Bass Pro Drive and Dalrock Road, along with the $7 million for the new interchange at Dalrock Road, both of which are scheduled to be let for contract in 2021.
The widening of I-30 between State Highway 205 and FM 2642 is estimated at $32 million and is expected to be let in 2022.
The reconstruction of six lanes with frontage roads along Interstate 30, between Interstate 45 and Bass Pro Drive, is estimated to cost $25 million and would be let in 2024 under the plan.
For motorists heading east into Hunt County, there will be four major overpasses built or rebuilt in the next few years.
A $30 million project is scheduled to begin in 2022 at Hunt County Road 2509, which currently does not have an overpass.
New overpasses will be built at FM 36 and FM 1565 in 2022, at a cost of $25 million each, along with a new overpass at FM 1570 in 2024, costing an estimated $22 million.