The future of transportation in Hunt County can be summed up in one of the maps which were presented during a public hearing in Greenville on July 20.
The draft proposal of the Hunt County Thoroughfare Plan showed multiple new highways and access roads being planned in the west, southwest and northwest corners of the county, with far fewer planned to the east and northeast.
Edmund Haas, vice president and transportation planning manager with Freese and Nichols, the consultants hired by the Hunt County Commissioners Court to prepare the draft, said the disparity is because all the evidence reveals that’s where the roads will be needed in the next 25 years or so.
“Growth is occurring,” Haas said, referring to multiple developments already springing up in the Caddo Mills and Royse City areas, with more spread expected to come outward from Plano and McKinney in Collin County and from the Quinlan and Lake Tawakoni area.
“Growth will come to us,” he added
A second public hearing concerning the plan was July 22 in Caddo Mills.
The Hunt County plan was designed to coordinate with similar plans already being adopted by cities in the county, as well as plans and programs of adjacent counties and from the Texas Department of Transportation and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
The Hunt County plan takes into account the county’s current growth of approximately 2% a year, with the county’s population to increase by more than 20 percent through 2045.
Haas said the proposal being presented during the public hearings was only a draft of the plan.
“This thoroughfare plan is a living document,” Haas said. “This draft is in no way final.”
The plan was designed to be able to adapt based on public input and any significant changes in population or development growth.
Many of the proposed thoroughfares in the plan focused on expected growth to the west of Greenville, and included several east/west routes which would be compatible with projects already included under the county’s $24 million 2016 road bond package and TxDOT’s plan to expand Interstate 30 between the Rockwall and Hopkins county lines.
Haas said the western edge of the county had “a robust network” of proposed road projects in the future.
“In the eastern part of the county we have a much less dense network, in terms of spacing,” he said.
One effort Haas mentioned involved a FM 1903/FM 36 project,which is now scheduled to join with FM 6 just west of Caddo Mills to create a regional road that will give access from the Wylie, Nevada, Josephine area all the way to Interstate 30.
“That is kind of a key one, especially considering the growth in Caddo Mills,” Haas said.
Haas said that U.S. Highway 380 in Hunt County will eventually have to be upgraded to a full highway/freeway style roadway, with full service roads and multiple entrances and exits.
One north/south project would be to extend State Highway 24 south all the way to Lone Oak, to help relieve the projected increase in traffic from U.S. Highway 69.
Hunt County officials asked the public in May to fill out a short online survey to identify where new roadways, intersection improvements, and safety enhancements are needed.
Haas said the survey drew more than 600 responses, with the overwhelming focus on adding safety to the roadways.
“It has already allowed us to provide some adjustments,” he said.
The proposed plan is expected to be presented to the Hunt County Commissioners Court in October, with another public hearing likely scheduled in November before the commissioners vote on formally adopting it.
The plan has been added online at https://www.huntcounty.net/upload/page/8875/docs/Hunt%20County%20Thoroughfare%20Plan.pdf