Monday, February 28, 2011

Third Time's the Charm at US 75 and Bush Tollway

US 75 and Bush Tollway

According to a story in The Dallas Morning News (behind pay wall), Plano is pitching a $34 million dollar transportation project to reconfigure the ramps at US 75 and the Bush Tollway. This would be the third attempt to get it right.

After the jump, failures one and two.

The first fail was when the interchange was first constructed. For example, eastbound and westbound traffic on the Bush Tollway wanting to go north on US 75 had to merge into a single lane just before US 75. They then had to merge with traffic on US 75 wanting to exit at Plano's 15th Street exit. The result was a dangerous traffic jam.

The second fail was when they extended the 15th Street exit lane a half mile beyond the exit itself, giving Bush Tollway drivers a longer time to merge with traffic on US 75. That change was actually an improvement, but it did nothing to address the problem of the ramps off the Bush Tollway. Presumably, that will be addressed in this third attempt by traffic engineers.

Buried in the story is a potential conflict between Plano and Richardson. As part of this project, Plano hopes to reconstruct the DART bridge across US 75 at 15th Street. Richardson has its own eyes set on diverting that future Cotton Belt light rail line farther south to intersect with the Bush Station. There'll be no need for that DART rail overpass in Plano if Richardson succeeds in getting its way. Ironically, the future of light rail could turn out to be the most significant detail of this whole road construction story. Stay tuned.

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