North Texas Tollway Authority's 5-year plan involves $1.5 billion investment in existing toll roads

The North Texas Tollway Authority manages tolled corridors throughout the region.

The North Texas Tollway Authority manages tolled corridors throughout the region.

Over the next five years, the North Texas Tollway Authority will invest $1.5 billion in the maintenance, expansion and safety of existing toll roads, according to Public Relations Manager Angelica Solano.

Population growth projections in Texas show a significant increase in the number of cars on the road in the coming years. As a result, the NTTA plans to focus resources on improving existing roads rather than building new projects, Solano said.

The lion's share of toll funds—54 percent—go toward paying down the tollway authority's debts. The remaining funds are split between capital projects and the NTTA's maintenance and operations.

Over 5 million drivers have an active toll tag, and each day, the NTTA processes an average of 2.5 million transactions, Solano said during the March 20 Growth & Mobility Luncheon hosted by the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.

Owners of nearby buildings and properties are experiencing growth brought on by the existence of tolled corridors, Solano said. Within a 5-mile radius of existing toll roads, the NTTA reports a $44 billion economic impact, only 33 percent of which is derived from new buildings, Solano said.

A 9.7-mile widening of SH 360 between I-20 and US 287 is the authority's latest project. Solano said the addition of two tolled lanes in each direction happened through a partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.The $340 million project opened to traffic in May 2018, according to TxDOT.

The NTTA is also in the midst of completing its expansion of the President George Bush Turnpike, its longest and most-traveled toll road. A four-lane widening of the turnpike between US 78 and US 75 is complete, which has allowed the NTTA to begin work on widening the stretch between the Dallas North Tollway and I-35, which should be complete by the end of this year.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.