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Road Work: New app to keep pace with transportation funding in Collin County

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It's not easy to keep a casual eye on all that's going on with county transportation projects, but we hope we've made it simple to review what we've done with roadway funds.

Bond funds can be moving targets to post online because money for different phases of large projects are paid out at different times, sometimes spanning a few years. With the number of projects and all levels of government involved, posting up-to-date dollar amounts can change from month-to-month as projects move along.

We put together road bond project listings from 2003 and 2007 in a new 'app,' where you can sort projects by amounts, managing agencies, which bond program goes with which project, and more.

The app launches from our County Projects web page. It's mobile-friendly, searchable and easy to use. And if anyone needs detailed information, the Project Numbers and managing agencies will lead to answers.

The app also taps the North Central Texas Council of Governments, an agency that oversees the distribution of Regional Toll Revenue funds to county road projects, and we folded in "RTR" funds that have added about $1 billion in major county road projects.

You're invited to take a look and, if you need to, get much more detailed information on any local road project.

Bond Money

Past transportation bonds in 2003 and 2007 funded more than $377 million for projects spanning intersection upgrades, arterial road improvement and expansions (widening), and right-of-way acquisitions, as well as some serious work on U.S. Highway 75 interchanges and overpasses. That did not include matching funds from cities themselves – normally a 50%-county, 50%-city ratio on each projects. Roughly, this funneled some $750 million combined into local roads and intersections.  

From the county's end, 92 cents out of each of those transportation bond dollars went for actual construction (85%) and Right-of-Way acquisition (7%). The remainder was used to pay costs for engineering consulting, legal expenses, appraisals and contingency funds on the 170-plus different projects from Wylie to Frisco, Plano to Farmersville.

RTR Funding

Regional Toll Revenue funds come from an agreement with the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) where, in exchange for the opportunity to construct, operate and maintain the 26-mile Sam Rayburn Tollway (SH 121) for 52 years, NTTA paid more than $3 billion to fund badly needed road projects across North Texas.

The NCTCOG's Regional Transportation Council earmarked more than $900 million of these funds to be used for road projects in Collin County alone. The projects listed here are the latest we have from NCTCOG.

You can view more details on these projects from the RTR Fund & Project Tracking database. Just plug the project number from our app to NCTCOG's tracker.

For the most detailed look at what's needed to keep Collin County moving, we recommend the summaries, data and maps in the 2014 Mobility Plan and its 2016 Update, both of which can be found here.

If you'd like to start with graphic summaries of what's happened with the three major road funding programs since 2003, we've included a handful here to give the big picture of road work in our county.