Collin County voters to decide on $750M bond

A $750 million bond is on the ballot for Collin County voters next month. Almost all of that money would be spent on transportation.

Collin County is projected to have more people than Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties by 2050. But what the county does not have is major freeway development to accommodate those people.

One million people will live in Collin County as of next year. And by 2050, three million people are expected to call Collin County home, according to state data. It would make it the most populous county in DFW.

Paul Wageman has more than a decade of experience in transportation in DFW. He was formerly the chairman of the North Texas Toll Authority and is the current vice chairman of DART.

“We're experiencing about 60 new people arriving in Collin County every day,” he said.

Wageman and a number of Collin County officials agree that mobility is the most dire issue for Collin County.

“People have got to be able to get to home and work and play in a more timely way,” he said.

When Dallas County hit the million population mark in 1960, it had LBJ, the toll road, 75 and more. Collin County drivers rely on 75 and 121, while also taking Dallas North Tollway and 380.

Former McKinney mayor Brian Loughmiller said that the county needs a more robust network of roadways.

"There really isn't any major freeway development that has occurred at all,” he said.

Loughmiller and Wageman support the $750 million bond on Collin County ballots next month. The bond would help fund the construction of non-tolled highways, service roads and main roads over the next five years.

“The outer loop has already been planned for some time. It could certainly help expedite that project,” Loughmiller said. “They have talked about 380, obviously. They've also talked about an alternate north to south route east of 75."

"We're experiencing congestion right now,” Wageman said. “And we really don't want to cut off this economic marvel that's occurring in Collin County."

The estimated long-term cost for roadways in Collin County through 2050 is $12 billion.

TxDOT and the North Texas Council of Governments would have to partner with the county's bond program to make that happen.