To help relieve traffic congestion and increase regional mobility, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Paris District coordinated with the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority (GCRMA) to develop and evaluate preliminary alternative alignments for the proposed Grayson County Tollway (GCT) from FM Road 121 west of Gunter to US 75 in Denison. The proposed 33-mile GCT intends to improve transportation efficiency along the extension of the Dallas North Tollway through Grayson County, providing access to the North Texas Regional Airport (NTRA) and ultimately connecting to US 75 near the Texas/Oklahoma state line. This future high-speed corridor will relieve traffic congestion along US 75 through the cities of Sherman and Denison, accommodate residential and commercial development, link the proposed centers of development within Grayson County, as well as provide a transportation system that connects Grayson County to the northern edge of the expanding Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
The feasibility study, led by BGE, Inc., included identifying, developing and evaluating alignments for engineering and toll feasibility and providing environmental documentation for the proposed project following National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidelines. With hundreds of natural and manmade constraints, the BGE team developed route alternatives and assessed potential social, environmental and economic effects.
Challenges with this study included vast differences of opinion regarding the acceptance of a proposed new-location high-speed facility (i.e., long-standing landowners with farmsteads vs. land developers seeking economic opportunity). The project team segmented the corridor and utilized a data-driven approach to evaluate and rank positive and adverse impacts based on providing high-speed regional connectivity. BGE facilitated the city council and other stakeholder briefings for the northern section. The cities of Pottsboro and Denison elected to work together to adjust their ETJ boundaries to the centerline of a preferred alternative between the City of Pottsboro and the NTRA.