For commuters headed along U.S. 287, there had been one big roadblock — even after the new 360 Tollway opened in May.
When drivers along U.S. 287 reached the intersection at Texas 360 in Mansfield, they would grind to a halt at a traffic light. The same was true for southbound tollway drivers, trying to head on U.S. 287 toward Midlothian and Waxahachie.
During rush hour, it could easily take a half hour to get through the intersection.
Now that’s all changed.
On Monday, the U.S. 287 overpasses over Texas 360 finally opened, meaning drivers no longer have to stop at the busy intersection.
“I, myself, got stuck in it a couple of times going to Houston,” said Tarrant County Precinct 2 Commissioner Andy Nguyen, who represents southeastern Tarrant County. “It’s going to be good to have that open, but it’s just part of the growing pains for all the growth we have in that area.”
The overpasses, which are actually where Ellis County and Johnson County meet, were another piece of the $340 million 360 Tollway project that included the main lanes, continuous access roads and main lane bridges, said Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Peters.
Traffic counts along U.S. 287 are 35,500 per day at the Texas 360 intersection. Along Texas 360 south of Interstate 20, traffic counts are 55,000 vehicles per day but are expected to reach 170,000 vehicles by 2030.
The 9.7-mile toll road was built by the Texas Department of Transportation but is operated by the North Texas Tollway Authority.
Mansfield Mayor David Cook said the opening of the overpasses will greatly reduce gridlock. He ultimately would like to see the flyovers from the 360 Tollway built to connect directly with the U.S. 287 lanes.
“I think the more convenient it is for people using the toll road, the more often it will be utilized,” said Cook, who added that he would eventually like to see the toll road extended to U.S. 67.
“That would provide a more direct connect to Interstate 35 and DFW Airport,” Cook said.