The new Texas 360 extension is still a busy construction zone, but the 9.7-mile toll road is closer to completion than it appears.
The Texas Department of Transportation said the $340 million project should open sometime this spring. The road will run through parts of Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield from just south of Interstate 20 to U.S. 287.
Mansfield Mayor David Cook said he was told the goal is to finish by April 2. When the extension opens, it will be a huge benefit for southeastern Tarrant County.
“I think this is certainly connects the southern part of Metroplex to the rest of DFW,” Cook said. “It’s going to help commute times and allow people to become more productive.”
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Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said the new toll road will be a boost for his city.
“It really enlarges the area from where we can draw skilled workers for Arlington,” Williams said. “That 30-minute travel window to Arlington really expands. You’re talking places like Lancaster, DeSoto and Cedar Hill.”
The project is being built by the Texas Department of Transportation but will operate as a toll road and be run by the North Texas Tollway Authority.
The project stretches from South Green Oaks Boulevard in Arlington to U.S. 287 in Mansfield. To drive the entire toll road will cost $1.62 with TollTag and $2.44 without one, with drivers billed by mail.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s traffic counts say more than 55,000 vehicles travel the route a day. It will grow to 174,000 vehicles per day to travel this corridor by 2030. The frontage roads will remain free.
This is not to be confused with two other Texas 360 projects.
Construction is underway to rebuild the Interstate 30 interchange with Texas 360. That $233 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
Another project to ease gridlock on Texas 360 between I-20 and Division Street will be awarded to a contractor next month.
That project, estimated to cost $60 million, will add a north and southbound lane (taking it from its current six main lanes to a total of 8). Work could begin on the 5.4-mile project by late spring or early summer and take 2 1/2 years to complete.
Traffic counts taken in 2016 along Texas 360 from just south of Texas 183 through the heart of Arlington remain high. At FAA Boulevard, counts were 152,901 per day. At Arkansas Lane, they were even higher with 172,834 vehicles per day.
“There are still going to be problems, but once the the connector at I-30 and 360 opens, that will bring some relief and [Texas] 161 has also provided some relief,” Cook said. “You just have to be an educated driver. We all use our devices to get around.”