Johnson County leaders say toll road to bring growth

The new Chisholm Trail Toll Road is cited as the catalyst for growth in Johnson County.

CLEBURNE — In the city of Cleburne, there's a sign drivers may not like to see.

However, Johnson County leaders say their sure the sign that reads "Toll Road Begins" will change everything.

"It's the catalyst of future growth in the county as a whole," said Commissioner Rick Bailey.

The Chisholm Trail Parkway may bring tolls, but it also provides a short, 25-minute commute from Tarrant County.

Since the toll road was completed, Bailey says the short connection has sparked new interest from developers.

For starters, county planners have been busy approving residential subdivisions all over the county.

"There is prime real estate," Bailey said. "We have a lot of undeveloped rural area. This corridor will do more for Johnson County in the next five years than any oil and gas did for us when times were good with that."

But, the real proof is in retail.

Developers are eyeing a parcel of land near TX 171 for a $100-million project known as Cleburne Station.

Mayor Scott Cain told News 8 that the city is in talks with major retailers like Belk and Kohls.

Cain believes it's a project that could bring more than 1,000 jobs while generating $100 million in economic growth every year.

"There has been great synergy," Cain said. "This is good for the entire region."

The private sector would pay for most of the project, likely around $75 million, so the city and county would have to rally tax payers for a portion of the cost.

Citizens will have a chance to hear more about the project at a Town Hall meeting on October 12. After that, council is expected to vote on the plans at the beginning of November.


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