Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Commissioners address I-35E widening, snow removal

Denton County Commissioners recently made recommendations to the Regional Transportation Council regarding the expansion of I-35E and prepared a winter weather plan that will help motorists transverse the county safer.

When Denton County Pct. 4 Commissioner Andy Eads approached the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) about the widening of the I-35E corridor between Denton and Carrollton, he did so with four conditions in mind.

First, toll lane revenue would go toward the entire corridor, and upon completion, each county would retain their portion of revenue from the roads within their respective county.

Second, bridges and service roads that crossed Lewisville Lake would be a part of the expansion project in the future.

Third, the RTC declare that revenue generated in Denton County may not be used without the approval of the Denton County Commissioners Court.

And fourth, that the RTC request supplemental funding from the Texas Transportation Commission to match the number of managed toll lanes with freeway lanes.

Eads met with the RTC last Thursday about the resolution to be placed before the Texas Transportation Commission and said the outcome was pretty satisfactory.

“Most of the guidelines were accepted,” Eads said. “Our resolution was not adopted, but an adapted one created by the RTC was adopted that had significant portions of what we wanted.”

The Precinct 4 commissioner said he was not able to get the one-to-one ratio of free lanes directly adjacent to toll lanes.

“That was not in the resolution that passed,” Eads said. “We wanted that because we wanted to make sure that the TxDOT and region knew what was important to Denton County. Overall, I was satisfied. It wasn’t everything that we wanted, but it was a starting point to move forward.”

Eads also proposed a winter weather preparedness plan that would allow the county to equip some of its existing trucks with road sanders and snow plows in the event of seriously inclement weather.

“Denton County has never been fully prepared to handle winter weather issues,” Eads said. “Last year’s ice that closed the county for four days was a perfect example…we want to make sure that the roads that have hospitals, fire stations and so forth are identified, and we will use our equipment to provide access to those places.”

Eads collaborated Precinct 3 Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell on the plan and said it is not just for county roads.

“We’re also going to be partnering with the state to help them with some of our state highways, like FM 2499 and 407 and other main roads,” Eads said.

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