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TxDOT hosts second public meeting for US 380 Denton County feasibility study at Denton Civic Center

TxDOT hosts second public meeting for US 380 Denton County feasibility study at Denton Civic Center

TxDOT hosts second public meeting for US 380 Denton County feasibility study at Denton Civic Center
January 24
00:51 2019

More than 100 people showed up to the last public meeting that the Texas Department of Transportation held Tuesday evening regarding a Denton County U.S. 380 feasibility study.

The meeting, held at the Denton Civic Center, started at 6 p.m. with an open house as attendees were invited to walk around to look at various presentation boards, write their comments on maps of the initial alternative alignments for U.S. 380 and talk to people involved in the project.

Jeff Wilson, a 33-year-old Aubrey resident is president of a local Homeowners Association and attended Tuesday’s meeting to get informed on proposed changes to be able to answer his community’s questions.

“I like the idea that they’re talking about opening up parallel arteries to 380,” Wilson said. “I think we need it. There’s been too many times where the street’s completely blocked off and you have to go so far out of the way to get even 5 miles.”

Currently, U.S. 380 comprises of a 4-6 lane road which is rated as an “F” level of service — the worst — in engineering terms, according to the TxDOT presentation.

Population-wise, between 2010-2017, Denton County’s population rose 23.5 percent and between 2018-2045, the population is expected to rise by 136 percent, according to TxDOT’s presentation.

“I think they’re a little bit behind,” Wilson said. “This probably should’ve been done quite a few years ago ahead of all the planned development that’s happening. But it is good progress [and] I like that they’re projecting out to the 2045 model instead of what they expect in the next 10 to 15 years.”

The now in-progress project for U.S. 380 is to widen and grade separations – creating a six lane road with a raised median.

“The project was environmentally cleared in June 2018 and is currently [in the middle of] detailed design,” Lacey Rodgers, the transportation planning and development director for TxDOT said while giving the presentation at the meeting. “Construction of the in-progress project is expected to begin in 2021 and finish by 2025.”

The local goals for U.S. 380 include providing reliable travel time and minimizing congestion, enhancing driver expectations, minimizing human and environmental impacts and providing roadwork network reliability.

Ryan LaFontaine, TxDOT’s public information officer, said the overarching goal for U.S. 380 is to “have a safe and efficient highway that relieves congestion.”

“We’re in the very early stages of this,” LaFontaine said. “This is our second meeting. The idea is to come here and show these maps to everyone, all these different alignments [which] is what we’re kind of thinking.”

LaFontaine said they wanted to make sure they are getting feedback.

“We want everyone’s opinion,” LaFontaine said. “Their suggestions, their ideas and we’re going to use that to hopefully, eventually, identify an alignment that works and that is safe and efficient.”

Wayne Zimmerman, an 80-year-old Aubrey resident, said he attended the meeting because his wife had concerns and wanted him to to be informed.

“She doesn’t like all the building that’s going on here,” Zimmerman said. “Some of the things, I think, are outlandish because they want to go through areas that I consider environmental hazards if they tear through them.”

People can send public comments to TxDOT regarding the U.S. 380 Denton County feasibility study through Feb. 6 by mailing a comment card, filling out a PDF survey and sending it to TxDOT or by completing their online survey at drive380.com.

More than 100 people showed up to the last public meeting that the Texas Department of Transportation held Tuesday evening regarding a Denton County U.S. 380 feasibility study.

The meeting, held at the Denton Civic Center, started at 6 p.m. with an open house as attendees were invited to walk around to look at various presentation boards, write their comments on maps of the initial alternative alignments for U.S. 380 and talk to people involved in the project.

Jeff Wilson, a 33-year-old Aubrey resident is president of a local Homeowners Association and attended Tuesday’s meeting to get informed on proposed changes to be able to answer his community’s questions.

“I like the idea that they’re talking about opening up parallel arteries to 380,” Wilson said. “I think we need it. There’s been too many times where the street’s completely blocked off and you have to go so far out of the way to get even 5 miles.”

Currently, U.S. 380 comprises of a 4-6 lane road which is rated as an “F” level of service — the worst — in engineering terms, according to the TxDOT presentation.

Population-wise, between 2010-2017, Denton County’s population rose 23.5 percent and between 2018-2045, the population is expected to rise by 136 percent, according to TxDOT’s presentation.

“I think they’re a little bit behind,” Wilson said. “This probably should’ve been done quite a few years ago ahead of all the planned development that’s happening. But it is good progress [and] I like that they’re projecting out to the 2045 model instead of what they expect in the next 10 to 15 years.”

The public meeting hosted by TxDOT allowed the department to garner comments from Denton residents about the feasibility of making improvements to U.S. 380. Image by Trevor Seibert.

The now in-progress project for U.S. 380 is to widen and grade separations – creating a six lane road with a raised median.

“The project was environmentally cleared in June 2018 and is currently [in the middle of] detailed design,” Lacey Rodgers, the transportation planning and development director for TxDOT said while giving the presentation at the meeting. “Construction of the in-progress project is expected to begin in 2021 and finish by 2025.”

The local goals for U.S. 380 include providing reliable travel time and minimizing congestion, enhancing driver expectations, minimizing human and environmental impacts and providing roadwork network reliability.

Ryan LaFontaine, TxDOT’s public information officer, said the overarching goal for U.S. 380 is to “have a safe and efficient highway that relieves congestion.”

“We’re in the very early stages of this,” LaFontaine said. “This is our second meeting. The idea is to come here and show these maps to everyone, all these different alignments [which] is what we’re kind of thinking.”

LaFontaine said they wanted to make sure they are getting feedback.

“We want everyone’s opinion,” LaFontaine said. “Their suggestions, their ideas and we’re going to use that to hopefully, eventually, identify an alignment that works and that is safe and efficient.”

Wayne Zimmerman, an 80-year-old Aubrey resident, said he attended the meeting because his wife had concerns and wanted him to to be informed.

“She doesn’t like all the building that’s going on here,” Zimmerman said. “Some of the things, I think, are outlandish because they want to go through areas that I consider environmental hazards if they tear through them.”

People can send public comments to TxDOT regarding the U.S. 380 Denton County feasibility study through Feb. 6 by mailing a comment card, filling out a PDF survey and sending it to TxDOT or by completing their online survey at drive380.com.

Featured Image: Denton County residents were encouraged to ask questions and point out potential concerns on large print outs that mapped the current proposed changes. Image by Trevor Seibert. 

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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