In Mansfield, residents have long been waiting for the day when the new 360 Tollway is completed.
While there's been a backlash against toll roads in some parts of Texas, Mansfield Mayor David Cook said residents are eager for better access to the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
"People are anxious," Cook said. "I'm getting calls all the time every day asking 'When will it be open?' "
The $340 million project is being built by the Texas Department of Transportation but will be operated by the North Texas Tollway Authority.
"We have sent out a 'save the date' note to officials for a May 11 ribbon-cutting," said NTTA spokesman Michael Rey. "... It is tentative, so we will watch the weather and see."
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 a TollTag and $2.44 without one, with drivers billed by mail.
During its 9.7-mile path, the toll road touches Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield.
'Really enlarges the area'
At Tuesday's City Council work session, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said the toll road's opening would ease north-south gridlock in the southern part of the city.
"That will help congestion on Matlock and Collins tremendously when that gets open," Williams said.
Both mayors have said it will be a driver for the southern part of Tarrant County..
“It really enlarges the area from where we can draw skilled workers for Arlington,” Williams said in January. “That 30-minute travel window to Arlington really expands. You’re talking places like Lancaster, DeSoto and Cedar Hill.”
The 360 Tollway will also have two other names for portions of the roadway.
One section will be named the Rosa Parks Memorial Parkway in honor of the Civil Rights icon, from the city limits of Mansﬁeld to its intersection with East Sublett Road/West Camp Wisdom Road in Tarrant County. Another stretch will be called the Senator Chris Harris Memorial Highway after the longtime Arlington legislator. That stretch will run from the intersection with U.S. 287 in Ellis County to the city limits of Mansﬁeld in Tarrant County.
Other 360 projects
The Texas Department of Transportation’s traffic counts say more than 55,000 vehicles travel the route daily. It is projected to grow to 174,000 vehicles per day by 2030.
This is not to be confused with two other Texas 360 projects. Construction continues 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 Interstate 20 and Division Street is estimated to cost $60 million, which will add a north and southbound lane (taking it from its current six main lanes to a total of 8). The 5.4-mile project will 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.
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.