Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Eads: Road improvement program on Nov. 8 ballot

As your Denton County Judge, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with information related to the Transportation Road Improvement Program – 2022 (TRIP-22) and its development.

Denton County is routinely in the top 10 fastest growing counties in the nation by percentage. Our population grew approximately 43.5% from the 662,614 people who lived here in 2010 to an estimated 950,660 in 2022, according to the U.S. Census and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. For comparison, the population in the U.S. grew 7.4% and the population in Texas grew 15.9% during that period.

Denton County grows by an average of 82 people a day. As more and more people choose to take advantage of all that Denton County has to offer, diligence is required to ensure that the transportation infrastructure will be in place to serve both existing and future residents. We have seen our roads get more congested, leading to longer commutes and delays of our first responders heading to emergencies.

To date, Denton County Commissioners, working with their partners, have utilized the voter-approved proceeds of $187 million from the 2004 road bond program and $310 million from the 2008 road bond program to fund and construct more than $8.4 BILLION in roadway projects throughout the county, improving the quality of life of every resident.

Our partnership with TxDOT and the North Central Texas Council of Governments has resulted in many transportation successes including the widening of I-35E from the Denton/Dallas County line to US 380 to add additional capacity throughout the corridor, widening FM 1171 from I-35E to I-35W to 6 lanes, extending FM 2499 from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to I-35E in Denton, and the widening of FM 544, FM 423, FM 2181, FM 407 and many more.

Denton County was able to do all these things while effectively managing its road bond debt to maintain its AAA bond rating. Denton County is one of only 7 counties out of the 254 in Texas to attain this rating.

During that same period, the county’s tax rate has dropped from $0.28.49/$100 valuation in 2012 to $0.21.75/$100 valuation in 2022. Lowering the property tax rate to the lowest level in over three decades resulted in Denton County having the lowest countywide tax rate of the 15 most populated counties in Texas.

But much still needs to be done. Additional improvements are needed to I-35W, I-35 north of Denton and I-35E. Farm to Market roads in previously rural areas are struggling under the congestion occurring in many portions of our county. Our communities are linked by many arterial roadways that have been operating at or above capacity rates for years, as well as small asphalt and substandard roads under stress from increased heavy truck and local traffic.

Working closely with elected officials and staff from cities within Denton County, the Denton County Commissioners Court was able identify critical local roadway needs.

Proposition A, if approved by the voters, will fund more than 119 projects in more than 32 municipalities and unincorporated areas. These projects include State highways, local arterials within the cities, safety improvements, and county roads and bridges.

TRIP-22 will provide Denton County with the tools it needs to further guarantee that our roadway system will be able to accommodate our County’s future growth. While providing the required local participation funds to advance the many TxDOT on-system projects, critical to Denton County citizens, TRIP-22 has a strong focus on local roads both within and between our cities.

A projected economic and fiscal impact study, which relies on the IMPLAN economic input-output model, shows the $650 million TRIP 22 funds could generate $956,437,000 in economic activity and create $315,378,000 in labor income, if approved by voters.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, with voting locations open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information about locations and other election-related details, visit www.votedenton.gov.

I encourage you to be an informed voter and check out our bond election information at www.dentoncounty.gov/trip22.

Regardless of how you choose to vote, I hope you exercise your rights.

Connect With Us

If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected], and my office number is 940-349-2820. For more information, register for my newsletter at www.Dentoncounty.gov/countyjudgenewslettersignup

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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