PLANO — Starting in 2015, the North Texas Tollway Authority will widen the Dallas North Tollway from three to four lanes in both directions between LBJ Freeway and Highway 121.
Every day on the Tollway between North Dallas and Frisco, the NTTA counts 145,000 motorists passing through. Hal Dougherty is one of them.
“I use the Tollway every day, to and from work,” he said.
So is Bobby Washington.
“I drive to work every day off 121, so it’s a hassle!” he said.
There are a lot of cars and a lot of traffic, and it only gets worse as Collin and Denton counties grow. So it is time for the Tollway make some room.
“It’s a classic 'If you build it, they will come.' They have come, and now we have to build more to get the cars on the roadway,” said NTTA spokesman Michael Rey.
Starting next year, crews will break ground to add an additional lane northbound and southbound from LBJ up to 121. Workers will also make improvements around the George Bush Turnpike.
“We’re going to try to do all of this work off-peak, much of it overnight," Rey said. "We’ll try to have as little impact as possible."
There will be some tight squeezes, but the NTTA insists there’s room. It should complete the project in late 2017.
In the meantime, the drivers we talked to will remind themselves there’s a light at the end of this round of roadwork.
“I think it’s like all construction projects: There’s going to be a lot of pain," Dougherty said. "And then hopefully, after the pain, there’ll be some good news. And less traffic!”
The NTTA estimates the cost of the project at close to $250 million.