The county has taken another step toward planning for the Collin County Outer Loop as design work is moving forward.

During a Collin County Commissioners Court meeting June 24, commissioners gave the go ahead for the county’s engineering department to enter into an agreement with Jacobs Engineering Group.

According to the agreement, the engineering group will design the Outer Loop segment between Preston and Custer roads. Design work is expected to take about 18 months to complete, and the cost is estimated to be upward of $860,000.

Additionally, construction along this stretch of roadway is estimated to cost more than $10.2 million. But, depending on the market at the time of construction, this price could fluctuate, said Clarence Daugherty, the Collin County director of engineering.

The engineering firm recently completed schematics for the Outer Loop's main lanes and service roads from the Dallas North Tollway east to Preston.

Once complete, the Outer Loop is proposed to extend east from the Denton County and Collin County line then south to Rockwall County. The loop is expected to help relieve traffic on US 380 and SH 78.

According to Daugherty, bids for the construction of the freeway are being analyzed by county staff and will be brought to commissioners for consideration in the near future.