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From the Desk of Andy Eads

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Movie Night at Texas Motor Speedway Nov. 8

Everyone is invited to the “Caring For Kierstin’s Legacy” Drive-In Movie Night at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 8, to raise money for the memorial fund for Flower Mound teen, Kierstin Eaddy, who was fatally injured in a go-karting accident this past summer.

“Caring For Kierstin’s Legacy” Drive-In Movie Night will showcase two feature films on the world’s largest HD video board – Despicable Me 2 at 7 p.m. and Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise, at 8:45 p.m. – and also provide guests the opportunity to take three laps on Texas Motor Speedway’s famed 1.5-mile oval between 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The memorial fund donation for the drive-in doubleheader is $20 per carload and $30 for those who would like to take three laps in their personal vehicle on the track that annually plays host to NASCAR and INDYCAR races. There also is a combination package for $40, which includes both the movies and the laps.

Concession areas will be available throughout the evening, but moviegoers are welcome to bring coolers and lawn chairs should they wish to enjoy the films under the stars.

The monies raised from the “Caring For Kierstin’s Legacy” Drive-In Movie Night will initiate a memorial fund for the 14-year-old Eaddy, who was involved in a tragic go-karting accident on July 20 during a sanctioned event on a course layout in a parking lot outside of Texas Motor Speedway.

Texas Motor Speedway is hosting “Caring For Kierstin’s Legacy” in partnership with the Eaddy family, as well as event sponsors Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter, Sports Car Club of America, Discount Tire, North Texas Autocross Series, and Equipe Rapide Sports Car Club.

Help spread the word about this wonderful event. For additional information, call Speedway Children’s Charities – Texas Chapter at 817-215-8421.

Made in Denton County

On Oct. 20, Denton County celebrated the opening of our new museum exhibit – Made in Denton County. The exhibit spotlights products produced in Denton County, including Peterbilt, Morrison Milling, Acme Brick, Rabbit Hole Brewery, and many others, with a special showcase for each. Acme Brick even brought their world’s largest brick called “Baby Clay” to help celebrate with court members for the unveiling.

A particular highlight is the addition to our “Farm and Ranch” room in the museum of my great-grandfather’s International Harvester wagon. The wagon was used to haul vegetables from the family farm in Lake Dallas to be sold at the square in Denton.

It was a proud day for me to see such an important part of not only my past, but the past of many Denton County families, preserved forever. If you have a family heirloom you would like to loan or give the Denton County Museums, let us know. Great joy comes from sharing our past with present and future generations.

Official opening of FM 407

Judge Mary Horn, Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell, Commissioner Jim Carter, Mayor Sue Tejml, Mayor Mike Donnelly joined me and area council members, TxDOT, and Lane Construction for the ceremonial ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of FM 407 which increased it to a four-lane roadway. The FM 407 project began in January, 2010, and includes improvements from Chinn Chapel to FM 1830.

We have already seen the improvement in our quality of life that proper infrastructure brings. It shortens our commutes, spurs economic growth and provides better safety. With the ribbon cutting on FM 407, we again signal to the rest of the region that Denton County and its cities are “open for business.”

FM 407 was built in phases as each section became ready to construct. Denton County constructed the portion of FM 407 known as the “Lantana Curve” prior to the remainder of the project to stimulate economic development in the area, following specific guidelines and processes to ensure that the “curve” would be accepted by the state as a part of FM 407 upon its completion. This was no easy task, but well worth the effort.

At a time when other projects throughout the state and region were being put on hold due to lack of funding, Denton County was able to use its Regional Toll Revenue to construct FM 407 and keep it on schedule.

During the development and the construction of FM 407, Denton County held countless meetings with stakeholders along the corridor, addressing issues such as design, access, traffic control, drainage, fencing, noise, and landscaping.

Denton County and its stakeholders worked with businesses and property owners on access issues related to driveways, median openings, and turn lanes to ensure maximum access while maintaining proper safety.

In addition to these improvements, Denton County will be work in partnership with TxDOT as part of the green ribbon campaign to provide landscape improvements to the medians and other portions of the right-of-way. Safety improvements continue with the installation of signals at Simmons Road and McMakin already slated for 2015.

Robson Ranch Road extension

We were also excited to cut the ribbon on the newly-completed extension of Robson Ranch Road last month. Denton County extended Robson Ranch Road west of the existing cement pavement and connected it to the southwest to Strader Road in order to improve the east/west traffic flow.

Flu season is here

October was the official start to the flu season, which runs October through May. Get your flu shot NOW to protect yourself, your loved ones, and those who cannot be immunized. It is suggested by our health department that everyone six months and older should get vaccinated. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect, so don’t wait – vaccinate! Click here for our Flu Vaccine Finder to enter your zip code or city and locate flu vaccine clinics and pharmacies near you: http://dentoncounty.com/Departments/Health-Services/Health-Department/Immunizations.aspx

Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to prevent the flu, but here are some additional ways you and your family can stay healthy this flu season:
* Wash your hands often – This is the easiest way to stop the spread of germs. Use soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a back-up, if soap and water aren’t available.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth – Some germs can live for several hours on surfaces like door knobs, desks, and tables.
* Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing – Always cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it away to prevent the spread of the germs. If you don’t have a tissue, cover your cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow.
* Stay home when you feel sick – Stay home from work, stores, and public places, and keep sick kids home from school or daycare.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people – and try to avoid contact with others when you are sick.
* Practice good health habits – Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.

Speaking of health concerns, if you are curious about the county’s precautions and protocols surrounding the Ebola outbreak, you can find information on the county’s home page at www.dentoncounty.com.

35Express construction update

Shoulder work continues on north and southbound I-35E between Corinth Parkway and Post Oak Drive. The exit ramp to Corinth Parkway was recently relocated to prepare for work at Corinth Parkway. The southbound exit ramp to Swisher Road (FM 2181) has been relocated approximately one mile north to exit 459. The previous exit ramp (exit 458) will be converted into an entrance ramp to southbound I-35E.

Work on the new southbound Lewisville Lake bridge continues with drill shaft placement in the water and column pours on the south sid
e of the lake. Work on the new southbound frontage road detour between Highland Village Road and Garden Ridge Boulevard has started, as well as work on the Garden Ridge Boulevard bridge.

Traffic was recently placed on the new southbound frontage road north of FM 407. Drill shift placement for the I-35E main lane bridges over FM 407 has begun and traffic is being diverted to the new southbound frontage road south of FM 407.

Widening of the southbound I-35E main lanes between Business 121 and the entrance and exit ramps to the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT) is underway. Demolition of the existing center concrete barrier on the northbound main lanes between the SRT and FM 3040/Round Grove Road has begun, as well as work on the direct connector ramp from westbound SRT to northbound I-35E.

Crews have begun demolishing the southbound I-35E bridge deck at Whitlock Lane/Sandy Lake Road and motorists should expect nightly closures on the interstate and the intersection below. Work on the new retaining wall at Whitlock Lane/Sandy Lake Road has also started.

With the west side of the Belt Line Road bridge completely demolished, crews are now focused on reconstructing the overpass, and are busy placing drill shafts and pouring columns to support the new bridge. The Valley View Lane exit ramp was recently reopened after crews closed it to lengthen and widen the structure. There will be occasional overnight closures of the ramp as crews make the finishing touches. Work on the north and southbound Valley View bridge approaches has started.

Crews continue work to widen the northbound I-35E main lanes from Valwood Parkway to Crosby Road, which includes excavation of the interstate median at Valley View.

Check out the project website at www.35express.org for more detailed information and detour routes, as well as regular updates on lane and road closures and upcoming construction. In addition, access to traffic cameras along I-35E is available.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is
andy.eads@dentoncounty.com and my office number is 940-349-2801.

 

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