McKinney's US 380 bypass routes discussed at meeting

Available right of way will determine whether US 380 is expanded into a limited access roadway.

Available right of way will determine whether US 380 is expanded into a limited access roadway.

The city of McKinney is feeling pressure from surrounding cities, Collin County and the North Central Texas Council of Governments over what local authorities are calling a necessary expansion of US 380 and a subsequent bypass through McKinney.

McKinney's planning department presented three potential alignments during a public information meeting Thursday night. The alignments include Wilmeth Road, Bloomdale Road and Laud Howell Parkway.

City staff said Wilmeth already has development on both sides of the roadway, limiting available right-of-way and making Bloomdale a top choice as it has less development and it is farther away from the future Collin County Outer Loop. County officials say the outer loop could one day be the equivalent of IH 635 in Dallas County.

Mayor Pro Tem Randy Pogue said the city has been approached by TxDOT to consider increasing the size of US 380 to help accommodate current and future growth of the city. The city, however, does not support the widening of the roadway and passed a resolution in May stating the widening would negatively impact businesses already established along US 380.

"The conversion to the larger roadway, of approximately 300 feet wide as compared to the approximate existing width of 140 feet, would have a significant impact to the existing developments along the roadway," Pogue said. "This would impact Stonebridge, Tucker Hill and the vast commercial intersection at US 75 all the way though the more historical section east of US 75.  The impact would also negatively impact the future sites such as the planned Costco site."

Pogue said the city is trying to be proactive in finding a potential solution that would involve the least amount of impact to the city financially and for those businesses and residences already existing along the corridor.

"McKinney is in the process of finalizing our update to the Comprehensive Plan which includes the Master Thoroughfare Plan, among others," he said. "Due to the timing of the city’s expected adoption of the Master Thoroughfare Plan, the alignment considerations need to be addressed sooner rather than later."

Pogue said each potential alignment comes with major impacts to those who live or own land in the area.

"When we as the city establish this alignment, there will be a change to each property owner moving forward," he said. "The timeline of development in the area likely will be impacted along with other considerations. Currently with the various alignments being considered there are still a number of issues to be considered and no final decision has been made as of this date. I assure you that the city and the City Council will analyze the options and propose the alignment deemed best for the city of McKinney as a whole, which will include the impacts to the citizens as well as costs to install."

City officials said TxDOT will likely not pursue the alignment conversion for some time and there is no guarantee that TxDOT will honor the city's alignment request.

"Without us attempting to coordinate an alignment at this time, we would then have to be more reactive and modify the Master Thoroughfare Plan again at a later date," Pogue said. "Without an alignment being planned, and as the northwest sector of the city continues to develop, the ability to provide a route would be complicated and more costly at that time."

The discussion of a potential US 380 bypass began last spring when county officials spurred discussion with city officials across Collin County to find consensus on priority road projects within the county. The consensus, officials said, would give them a better chance of securing state funds from Proposition 1 and Proposition 7.

County officials began looking at possibilities for US 380, which is highly congested and anticipated to be at capacity in a few short years, and found in some portions of the roadway there was enough available right-of-way to turn the roadway into a limited access roadway. Right now, the widely-used roadway consists of traffic lights and small spurts of high speed limits. If US 380 was turned into a limited access roadway, it would operate more like US 75, without the need for traffic-controlling red lights.

In order to turn the road into a limited access roadway, officials anticipate the need for 300 feet of right-of-way on each side.

For more coverage on this discussion, click here and here.