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Toll road part of TTC plans

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MEGAN GRAY

and JOEY DAUBEN

The Ellis County Press

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry told a southern Dallas County transportation group that Loop 9, a proposed toll road for northern Ellis and southern Dallas counties, is designed to be 14 lanes.

"Under the old system of building roads, we divided up a limited pie of tax dollars that could never keep up with growth, let alone ongoing maintenance needs," said Perry.

"The fact is, Southern Dallas County has waited long enough for a southern connector to be built and relying upon the federal or state share of gas tax revenues to make that dream a reality has been nothing more than an exercise in futility."

Perry told a DeSoto transportation forum in 2007 that Cintra-Zachry, the Spanish corporation and construction conglomerate that will contract with the state for the Trans-Texas Corridor toll road revenue, will operate the tolls for Loop 9.

Cintra-Zac-hry’s chief executive officer, Jose Maria Lopez de Fuentes, told Perry and the other officials Loop 9 fit into the plans for the TTC.

"We believe it [Loop 9] can be financed with tolls," Fuentes said. "It is a candidate within our Trans Texas Corridor 35 [TTC35] agreement with [Texas Department of Transportation] as a connector road enhancing the corridor."

Perry announced earlier this year the TTC was "dead," but the TxDOT Web site shows a name change and the project still intact. The new name is called Innovative Connectivity.
The 14-lanes that are proposed for Loop 9 caught many residents in Glenn Heights, Ovilla, Cedar Hill and Midlothian off guard. A town hall meeting Thursday, April 23 in Cedar Hill is expected to attract 1,000 residents, organizers of the effort said.

Meanwhile, Cedar Hill’s Economic Development Director Allison J.H.Thompson is standing firmly by the project.

"Loop 9 will open the southern portion of Cedar Hill and the Best Southwest with a much needed transportation corridor and east/west connectivity," said Thompson.

"US 67 will intersect with Loop 9.The loop will provide an alternative route for truck traffic and reduce congestion on both the east and west corridors of I-35, it is a critical piece of infrastructure for the metroplex. Even more exciting is the probability that the section in the Best Southwest will be constructed first."

The Loop 9 corridor, which extends from Seagoville in eastern Dallas County and empties into the Midlothian area, was designed by state officials to alleviate Interstate Highway 20.
The toll road calls for an eventual 2×2 lane truck way in the center, 2×2 lanes for cars and other light vehicles, flanked in turn by 2×3 frontage road lanes, according to Loop9.org, the state’s official Web site for the project.

Eight expressway lanes for cars and trucks would have a design speed of 80 mph while the frontage lanes would be about 50 mph with signals at the interchanges.

There would be major interchanges at Highway 67 in Midlothian, I-35 in Red Oak, I-45 in the Wilmer/Ferris area and on I-20.

Town Hall meeting on Thursday, April 23 is located at Noble Champion Sport Horse Arena ,1302 S. Duncanville Road in Cedar Hill at 6:30 p.m.


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