There is still time to view and submit feedback about the Texas Department of Transportation’s feasibility study, as the virtual public meeting is ongoing through the end of the week.
The study is needed, TxDOT says, because this two-lane section of FM 407 “does not meet current design standards or current and forecast traffic growth,” and the department wants to improve travel conditions, mobility and reliability through 2045.
TxDOT is planning to widen, improve and realign FM 407 from west of Justin to the Bartonville town limits. Through most of it, the plan is to widen the existing roadway from two lanes to four lanes, but big changes may be coming to Justin.
Currently, 407 does not travel smoothly through Justin. The two-lane highway makes a a couple sharp turns between Northlake and Justin, resulting in mostly north-south travel instead of east-west. To stay on FM 407 when approaching Justin from the east, drivers have to turn left onto FM 156 and travel several blocks through downtown Justin before turning right onto 407/West First Street.
The current recommended plan, according to the FM 407 feasibility meeting presentation, would instead construct a six-lane highway from the point of a 90-degree turn near Northlake, and the new highway would travel generally in southwest/northeast directions through northern Justin, bypassing the more congested area of downtown Justin. It would, however, run along the south side of 12th Street and would require right of way acquisition of six homes. TxDOT says that it is recommending this plan among all the alternatives based on matrix screening comparisons and input from city and county offices. It would have FM 407 go over the train tracks, which would allow emergency vehicles to avoid having to wait for the train, and it is projected “to be more useful with serving driver destinations” than other alternatives.
TxDOT plans to finalize its feasibility study late this year. The next steps will be roadway design, environmental analyses and more public meetings to determine the specific roadway design details and right of way dimensions. Phased construction is currently expected to begin in nine to 11 years.