On August 16, 2022, the Denton County Commissioners Court unanimously called for a $650 million bond election proposition to be on the ballot Nov. 8, to improve roads, bridges, and highways. The Denton County Transportation Road Improvement Program 2022 (TRIP 22) bond election is the first road improvement bond program sought by Denton County since 2008, about 14 years ago.
“We appreciate voters’ trust in 2008, allowing us to use the $310 million to help build significant road projects in our communities as well as in the county and on state and federal highways,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. An estimated $497 million in road bond packages in 2004 and 2008 were used to help fund and construct more than $8.4 billion in roadway projects.
Officials met with local municipalities as well as state officials to determine long-term needs for the growing area. Denton County is one of the fastest growing in the U.S., with 82 additional people becoming a resident in the county every day. The projects are slated to provide congestion relief and safety improvements. More than 110 projects have been identified to date, both large and small, in all four precincts of Denton County.
Among proposed projects are Loop 288 West and Loop 288 East frontage roads, FM 1171 West, I-35W frontage roads, US 377 north and more. Denton County uses funds from the bond programs to begin engineering, right-of-way acquisitions, utility relocations and other start-up costs to ensure state and federal highway projects are potentially given higher priority. In addition, the county works with area cities to cover a portion of costs to improve or expand major thoroughfares.
In the TRIP 08 bond package, county officials sold bonds periodically to avoid spikes in tax rates in terms of debt obligations. “Keeping our taxpayers in mind, regardless of the projects or need, remains uppermost in importance,” Judge Eads said, speaking on behalf of the Commissioners Court.
I invited John Polster, who is President of Innovative Transportation Solutions Inc., and serves on the North Central Texas Council of Government’s Surface Transportation Technical Commission, to explain the need for passage of the proposition. Mr. Polster sent the following short bio:
“John Polster has more than 25 years of experience working for county and municipal clients coordinating transportation improvement programs. He worked as Project Manager and Constituent Liaison for U.S. Congressman Dick Armey, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1988 to 1991. From 1991 to 1996, he worked for local governments and various private sector firms in the transportation industry to further enhance mobility needs of the North Texas region.
“In 1996, he and his wife Lisa created Innovative Transportation Solutions to meet the growing needs of counties and municipalities for specialized services their firm is able to provide. He serves on the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Surface Transportation Technical Committee as Denton County’s appointee. Some of ITS’ clients include Denton County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County, Lubbock County, Brazos County, City of Denton, City of Lewisville, City of Grand Prairie, City of Ennis and Town of Flower Mound among other municipalities in the north Texas area.
“Mr. Polster possesses a uniquely thorough knowledge of funding procedures, transportation planning, and innovative solutions to transportation complexities. He has extensive experience facilitating major transportation and infrastructure projects through the local, state, and federal processes. He and Lisa live in Denton County and have three children.”