In December, Collin County commissioners directed staff to acquire land on the future US 380 corridor in two segments: one in Princeton into Farmersville and the other in Frisco.
In 2016, commissioners determined a lack of freeways was the main transportation deficit in the county, Collin County Director of Engineering Clarence Daugherty said. Nearly four miles of land in Frisco will be used for the freeway.
“They identified the US 380 corridor from Denton County to Hunt County all the way across our county as the first priority,” Daugherty said.
The Texas Department of Transportation has conducted a feasibility study, and the county is now working to pin down exactly where this freeway will go, Daugherty said. Next steps typically include an environmental analysis by TxDOT and then land acquisition.
But Daugherty said this project is following a different timeline.
“We’re trying to reverse that a little bit,” he said. “And wherever it is, along 380 or in the corridor, and we see that alignment has been pinned down, the county is going to go ahead and buy the land and turn it over to [TxDOT].”
Daugherty said the county wants to get the land while it is still available.
“We need to get it now before development fills it in,” Daugherty said. “And so that we get it now instead of later when the prices are a lot higher. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to move immediately on construction.”
He said it could be 10 years before plans for construction begin.
TxDOT Public Information Officer Emily McCann said the transportation department will soon begin its environmental analysis.
“While we do have a preferred alternative, we still are anticipating taking public input,” McCann said.
The city of Frisco is cooperating with Collin County and TxDOT on the project, city officials say. In September 2016, the Frisco City Council passed a resolution supporting US 380 becoming a limited-access roadway, or freeway.
The county will hire appraisers to look at the desired land, Daugherty said. The appraisers will look at comparable sales in the vicinity and go to the county with their best assessments of value for the parcels of land.
“[The price will be] based on the way it is today,” Daugherty said. “A lot of times, there’s discussion about the future use of it, but we’re not paying for the future use, we’re intending to do what the definition of fair market value is.”
Daugherty recommends landowners along US 380 call the county to see how far into their properties the land will need to go. However, he said all the necessary information may not be available yet.
“It probably makes [the] most sense to give us a few months, and then we’ll be contacting them,” he said.
The county is using $600 million from a $750 million 2018 bond program to help fund the project, Daugherty said. This part of the bond is intended to be used for improvements for freeways and thoroughfares, he said.
“Most of the funds for the freeways will go for land,” Daugherty said. “And it’ll be for things like the US 380 corridor, the outer loop, [and] another freeway on the southeast part of the county. But there are some physical improvements that will be made out of that as well.”
The entire 30-mile project could end up costing around $2 billion over at least a 20-year period, Daugherty said.