AUSTIN – One of Texas’ most congested corridors could soon be under construction following Texas Transportation Commission action on Thursday. The Texas Transportation Commission authorized the issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for development of the State Highway (SH) 360 toll road project, which runs through Ellis, Tarrant and Johnson counties, from south of I-20 to US 287.
In addition, the commission approved an agreement with the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) and the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) to develop, finance and construct the SH 360 project. TxDOT’s approval follows NTTA’s last week and the RTC’s late last year.
As part of the agreement between TxDOT, NTTA and RTC, TxDOT will loan $300 million to the project for design and construction. The RTC will provide a backstop for the loan. Once the project reaches substantial completion, NTTA will operate the toll road and use the revenue collected to repay the loan.
SH 360 is currently ranked number 19 on TxDOT’s list of 100 congested roadways. The interim phase of the project will provide congestion relief by adding a four-lane divided highway with two toll lanes in each direction from Sublett Road/Camp Wisdom Road to East Broad Street and one toll lane each direction from East Broad Street to US 287. This will be a multi-phased project; however, the RFQ and agreement pertains only to the interim phase.
The ultimate design for SH 360 is an eight-lane divided tollway north of Debbie Lane/Ragland Road and a six-lane divided tollway south of Debbie Lane/Ragland Road. The ultimate phase would also include improvements at the SH 360/U.S. 287 interchange. The total cost of the ultimate project is currently estimated at $625 million in today’s dollars. Funds for the next phase of the project have not been identified.
TxDOT plans to issue the RFQ in March. Construction on the interim phase could begin in 2015 with substantial completion in 2018.
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