More than a dozen residents spoke during a public hearing Monday on the two remaining alignment options for US 380, which is on track for improvements to handle the growth in Collin County.
The Texas Department of Transportation expects to choose a recommended route by late spring or early summer of 2019, according to a March 11 presentation at the Collin County commissioners court meeting.
Commissioner Duncan Webb said he does not care which route is picked as long as one of them is built.
“Before you see even one piece of concrete you can drive on, it may be 10 years from now, and to actually see the entire corridor done it might be 20 [years],” Webb said. “… This is a decision that really impacts future generations of people who will live and work here. This county has to have a freeway system.”
TxDOT is conducting a feasibility study to determine the final recommended alignment, according to TxDOT representative Lacey Rogers.
These proposed alignments are meant to support east-west travel in Collin County between the Denton and Hunt county lines.
Doing nothing with US 380 would be the worst possible solution, Commissioner Susan Fletcher said.
Conversations about the roadway began last April when TxDOT presented five proposed alignments for US 380 through Collin County. Those options were narrowed to two in October.
One route being called the green line runs along US 380’s current alignment. The other, the red line, loops around the southern end of Farmersville, the northern end of Princeton, south of New Hope, through the north end of McKinney, and realigns with the current US 380 either between Lake Forest Drive and Custer Road in McKinney or west of Custer in Prosper.
Collin County Judge Chris Hill said both are viable options. It us up to TxDOT to determine which is best to support the county’s future growth, he said.
Resident Ben Pruett spoke during the public hearing against the proposed red alignment, saying parks, open spaces, waterways and homes along that proposed freeway route would be subject to air pollution amongst other things.
“The environmental impacts for the proposed red alignment present several significant transformative environmental impacts,” Pruett said. “The impacts presented will require an environmental study, and if properly considered, the proposed green alignment is the best choice TxDOT can justify.”
Others voiced concerns about the businesses and neighborhoods that would be displaced along the proposed green alignment.
“I’m asking that each of you consider the growth of our area for the future and not just for now,” said Monty Self, a fifth-generation Collin County resident. “Please don’t make the same mistakes that past Collin County and city officials have made to cause this current dilemma. It’s time to stand up and support McKinney citizens and businesses. If the green alignment is chosen, 178 existing businesses will be impacted, and that does not include the new and future businesses being built. Not to mention, this will change the attitude of traffic and cause shoppers to go outside of McKinney. … [I] believe red option B is the best route.”
TxDOT expects to hold two more public meetings in May, when a recommended alignment will be presented. Dates for the meetings have not been announced.