Frustration mounts over Collin County's State Highway 78 delays

Growing danger on Collin County's Highway 78

Brenda Gray of Leroy's Bait and Tackle Shop has become accustomed to what she sees out the front of her business.

"Slow traffic, it's that way every day," she said.

Her family business, first started by her father in 1966, sits right along State Highway 78. It is where traffic inches along. Sadly to most people, the view hasn't changed on that stretch of highway much either.

The Maxwells, who live in a subdivision right along the road, take it to work every day. "It's awful. It's awful. It takes us 30 minutes to drive three miles from here to work," said Patty Maxwell.

Texas Department of Transportation is widening the road on the highway. It is a project nearly complete, but for neighbors, it feels like it is taking forever. For a stretch through in Wylie and Lavon, it is a two lane road.

Highway 78 has also been the location of several fatal accidents. There was a head-on crash just in April of this year. But most people remember the deaths of a volunteer firefighter and his two children just north of that location.

People tell WFAA that the completion date has changed at least three times. They were told it would be finished last year, and then the beginning of this year. Now TxDOT tells WFAA it will be done in October.

Thankfully, Brenda has regulars she can rely on for business, but says there was a clear difference once construction started.

"They'll call me and say, 'Are you open yet?' Yeah, we never did close," she laughs.

TxDOT tells us the rains and flooding pushed deadlines last year. A representative says mother nature has been more cooperative this year. There have been changes to help ease traffic, like adding an officer during rush hour.

Regardless, the rush hour every morning and evening is a challenge. Residents and business owners told WFAA that they feel trapped because of the congestion.

"I'm gonna stick it out. I always have," said Gray.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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