Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Texas 170 Highway to be converted into yet another toll road for North Texas Commuters

Texas 170 being planned as toll road

Toll Road Kill


The Keller Citizen
Copyright 2009

A long-awaited highway project in far north Fort Worth has been turned over to the North Texas Tollway Authority for planning as a toll road.

Tolled main lanes would be built on more than six miles of Texas 170, from Texas 114 near the Roanoke-Westlake border to Interstate 35W. Frontage roads would remain free.

Texas 170 is routinely lined with cars belonging to people arriving for shift work at Alliance-area employers.

The tollway authority, which builds and manages toll projects throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, was authorized to conduct the planning work during a Texas Transportation Commission meeting Thursday in Austin. However, the road will remain part of the state highway system.

The authority "will conduct the advance planning, environmental work, public involvement and development of toll feasibility studies," said Mark Tomlinson, Texas Turnpike Authority division director.

Though the project is likely at least five years away, Thursday’s action signifies that it’s no longer a pie-in-the-sky plan.

Tollway authority officials are developing Texas 161 in Irving and Grand Prairie, which is under construction, and Southwest Parkway in Fort Worth, which is scheduled to be under construction next year and possibly open by late 2012.

After those roads are complete, the tollway authority hopes to begin its next batch of toll projects, including Texas 170.

The commission also turned over to the authority planning for Texas 360, which connects Mansfield, one of the region’s fastest-growing cities, to the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport area.

Gordon Dickson is a Star-Telegram staff writer.

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