Part two of a major road construction project on U.S. 380 begins Monday, courtesy of the Texas Department of Transportation. The project will start in Denton County at the U.S. 377 split and continue eastward along U.S. 380 for ten miles to the Collin County line.
“This is a big project,” said Tony Hartzel, a spokesperson for TxDOT. “We at TxDOT need to do something to address the demands that really are already out there while also working towards the future.”
The planning phase for the project began in 2016. According to Hartzel, the population in that area has grown 80% in the past ten years, which means even more congestion.
Crews have been working on part one of the two-part project since last January. Part one involved adding raised medians and turning lanes to U.S. 380 between Loop 288 and the U.S. Highway 377 split.
Part two of the project will take an estimated three years to complete and will be done in three phases, for a total of $140 million worth of improvements.
The general purpose of the project is to widen U.S. 380 to three lanes on both sides of the highway and help drivers avoid stoplights by elevating the highway over five different intersections.
In addition to that, the frontage road will help separate and move traffic by having improved intersections and turn lanes.
During the first year of construction, all traffic will swap sides of the highway.
“Phase 1, traffic will switch to the north side and all the work will be done on the south side,” said Kendall Sloan, another spokesperson for TxDOT. “For Phase 2, traffic will switch to the south side and all the work will be done on the north side.”
And in the third phase, construction will begin on-road grade separations at intersections.
A driving factor behind these renovations to U.S. 380 is safety. In May of 2021, three people were killed and three others injured in a major crash along that highway. The new renovations will address the lack of sidewalks and a median.