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NTTA postpones decision on renaming Texas 360 ‘Texas Ranger Tollway’

The North Texas Tollway Authority has opted not to take action on a proposal to rename a portion of Texas 360 as Texas Ranger Tollway until after Arlington voters decide Nov. 8 whether to approve a new $1 billion ballpark for the Texas Rangers baseball club.
The North Texas Tollway Authority has opted not to take action on a proposal to rename a portion of Texas 360 as Texas Ranger Tollway until after Arlington voters decide Nov. 8 whether to approve a new $1 billion ballpark for the Texas Rangers baseball club. Star-Telegram

A decision about whether to rename a new stretch of Texas 360 “Texas Ranger Tollway” will be postponed until after the Nov. 8 referendum in which Arlington voters decide whether to help pay for a new $1 billion baseball stadium.

“They’re going to work on it some more,” said Michael Rey, spokesman for the North Texas Tollway Authority, which is considering the name.

Tollway authority officials told the Star-Telegram last week that they were considering the new name for the road, which is currently under construction along a 10-mile stretch from Camp Wisdom Road/Sublett Road to U.S. 287. The road will become a major commuting corridor for residents of the fledgling area that includes south Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield.

Tollway board member Mojy Haddad of Arlington said he was unconcerned about the timing of the decision, which would have come less than three weeks before election day. Arlington voters are scheduled to go to the polls on Nov. 8 to decide whether to use a half-cent sales tax and other funding measures to split the cost of the proposed new retractable roof stadium with the Rangers.

Haddad explained that the name was meant to pay tribute to the legendary Texas Rangers law enforcement unit, and not the baseball team.

But in any case, tollway officials determined that they have plenty of time to make a decision on naming the roadway, and make arrangements for green directional signs with the new name, Rey said. The road work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, or possibly in early 2018, he said.

In other words, there’s no reason to force a decision on the name while Arlington voters are deciding whether to use their tax dollars on a baseball club with the same name.

A Star-Telegram/WFAA poll shows the ballpark referendum is essentially a dead heat, with 42 percent of voters favoring the measure and 42 percent opposing it.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796, @gdickson

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