Sunday, March 16, 2008

Football stadium toll road is a top priority for Dallas porkers

Building of toll road fast-tracked


Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Copyright 2008

How important is the construction of the Texas 161 toll road for traffic flow at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington?

Important enough for Dallas-Fort Worth planners to gamble more than $200 million in local funds to get the project under way. That will improve the odds that the road will be partly open by the 2009 football season, the Cowboys' first at the stadium, and mostly complete by the 2011 Super Bowl.

The road will be owned and paid for by either the Texas Department of Transportation or the North Texas Tollway Authority -- whichever wins the battle for the right to collect tolls for 52 years.

Last week, the Transportation Department opened bids for the toll road's main lanes from Texas 183 to Interstate 30. The best bid was $215 million by Williams Brothers of Houston. The Regional Transportation Council agreed to pay that amount, plus $12 million to ensure that frontage roads are built over railroad tracks in central Grand Prairie.

The Texas Transportation Commission will be asked to approve the contract March 27 in Austin.

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