The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) opened a new bridge, part of the Dallas North Tollway over US 380 on Saturday. The bridge extends the toll road into Prosper and is the first part of a Phase 4 project for Collin and Denton counties. The project will eventually extend the Dallas North Tollway main lanes to the Grayson County line.
Here are five things to know about the new expansion:
1. Construction of the next phase of the project can start in mid-2024
The next phase will involve building the main fields north of the bridge.
NTTA is in the design phase of the project, the phase 4A extension. Construction could begin in mid-2024, depending on finalization of design and weather, said Michael Rey, NTTA media officer.
The Phase 4A expansion will extend the tollway by 6 miles from US 380 to FM 428. The capital plan includes $236.9 million for design and construction. Total project costs are estimated at 350 million dollars.
The Phase 4B expansion, an approximate 8-mile section from FM 428 into Grayson County, includes construction of a frontage road.
2. The bridge will help meet future traffic requirements
NTTA’s capital plan, which includes the Dallas North Tollway expansion projects, is expected to help meet future traffic demands and ease congestion in Frisco, Prosper and Celina, according to NTTA.
Frisco is the state’s fastest growing city and the second fastest growing city in the United States, growing at 3.85% annually. Between 1 April 2010 and 15 October 2020, the population increased from 116,989 to 200,509.
North of Frisco, Prosper’s population is 30,174, up from 9,423 in 2010, and Celina — north of Prosper — has a population of 16,739, up from 6,028 in 2010, according to census data.
3. Drivers can expect a faster commute without having to stop at lights
For drivers not connecting to US 380, the bridge will eliminate the need to drive through the stoplight interchange to continue north or south, Rey said.
“Well, it’ll be a non-stop trip across the bridge,” Rey said. “Time saving depends on how congested stoplight the surface route was at any time of the day.”
4. Over 10,000 cars already use the extension
Travel counters on Monday showed 10,950 northbound drivers and 10,600 southbound drivers. Rey said those numbers should increase as more people realize the bridge has opened.
5. It may take time for your GPS to update with the new route
Waze has been updated to include the bridge in its route suggestions. Google Maps only shows the southbound side open and Apple hasn’t updated its maps, according to Rey.