McKinney City Council approved a resolution setting guiding principles for the development of a US 380 alignment in an effort to provide direction to transportation officials.
After many discussions on an alignment option for US 380, a solution for alleviating current and future congestion has yet to be identified.
The city of McKinney has remained consistent in fighting for an alignment option that does not affect businesses currently located along US 380, including Raytheon, the city's largest employer.
However, the Texas Department of Transportation recommended a bypass alignment for US 380 on May 6, and Collin County commissioners and the city of McKinney have since proposed other alternatives.
TxDOT’s preferred alignment will start in Prosper along US 380’s current alignment then run north between Ridge Road and Stonebridge Drive in McKinney, avoiding the Tucker Hill neighborhood. The alignment then continues east along Bloomdale Road, moves slightly north and connects with US 75 near Laud Howell Parkway. It reconnects with US 380 at Airport Drive. The alignment also connects US 380 to SH 121 west of the McKinney National Airport. It also runs south of New Hope, north of Princeton and south of Farmersville.
TxDOT is now past the public input phase of researching a potential route and will soon be conducting environmental impact studies on all viable options.
McKinney Engineering Director Gary Graham said the resolution passed by McKinney City Council on Oct. 15 “makes it clear that the City Council supports a bypass and does not support widening US 380 on US 380.”
Graham said these guiding principles are meant to give TxDOT and their consultants some ideas on how to move forward with implementing an alignment that has the best results for the region as a whole.
“This freeway needs to serve all of Collin County and help everyone with regional mobility and help continue the prosperity we have had over the last two decades,” Graham said.
The resolution asks for a bypass with a Spur 399 extension southeast of the McKinney National Airport, as well as a bypass that crosses and connects to US 75 south of and distinct from Laud Howell Parkway. Many other principles are set in the resolution, which can be found on the city's website on the agenda of the Oct. 15 City Council meeting.
City Council passed the resolution 5-2, with Council Members Charlie Phillips and Scott Elliot voting against the resolution. Both Phillips and Elliot said the resolution was too vague to offer beneficial direction to TxDOT.
“I don’t see that it gives TxDOT enough guidance to put something together,” Phillips said. “Its a general bunch of postulants; it's nothing concrete, and TxDOT’s already told us what their preferred route is, so I am trying to see how this helps our position by issuing this resolution. ... I just would not support it right now.”
Other council members in support of the resolution said they see it as a way to push the project forward.
“We are going to talk this for another 10 years, and nothing is going to get done,” Council Member Rainey Rogers said. “I think that this is a first step in getting something done, so I support this. I hope that we can get the county on board, and get TxDOT on board, and let's get this thing moving because by the time this is built, McKinney is going to double in size, I am afraid.”
According to Graham, this resolution serves multiple purposes. Not only does it give TxDOT direction, but it is also a response to discussions with Collin County and the North Texas Central Council of Governments, which asked McKinney to be more clear on where it stands now that TxDOT is moving into the environmental impact study phase.
In addition, the resolution also aims to make the city eligible for county bond funding, Graham said during a City Council work session.
Collin County has made a call for projects as part of a county bond program, Graham said, and to be an eligible city it must support and acknowledge a need for strategic east-west roadways and support the county’s thoroughfare efforts.
“We are making it very clear that we support the regional initiatives so we would be eligible to submit for potential county funding on some of our arterial projects,” Graham said during the work session.
Graham said the city has submitted five transportation projects for potential county funding:
- extension of Wilmeth Road from Lake Forest to Hardin;
- Stacy Road lanes five and six from Custer to Ridge roads;
- Eldorado Parkway lanes 5 and 6 from Custer Road to Stonebridge Drive;
- extension of Bloomdale Road from Redbud Drive to SH 5; and
- Ridge Road from US 380 to Wilmeth Road.
According to Graham, the county will only be funding up to one project from each eligible community.