McKINNEY — Voters in booming Collin and Rockwall counties will have a chance in November to decide whether they want more open roads and locked-down jail cells.
The two counties’ commissioners courts on Monday approved Nov. 6 bond elections that are meant to help alleviate the growth pressures in both counties. Both votes were unanimous and came on the final day, by Texas law, to put items on the November ballot.
Collin County voters will have to decide on three propositions: $600 million for highways and frontage roads, $140 million on county roads and bridges and $10 million for parks and open spaces.
The Collin County bond
The vote in Collin County was a formality because commissioners had agreed in May to put the items on the ballot. They have said the new debt won’t mean any changes to the tax rate.
Partnerships with cities and the state are included in the highways measure. An upgrade to U.S. Highway 380 is the county’s top priority. Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said Monday they were still on track to narrow five potential Highway 380 remedies to two or three plans and to bring those final ideas back to the public in October. TxDOT hopes to have a preferred alignment in early 2019.
Possible bypass routes for the highway have threatened existing homes and businesses in Collin County. The proposals have sparked passionate debates about the road’s future. That was on display Monday when about half a dozen in the audience wore red “no 380 bypass” shirts and another dozen wore green “say yes to West” shirts — all statements of preferred plans for congestion relief along Highway 380.
Other potential projects include a north-south highway east of North Central Expressway and the county’s outer loop.
Officials say the infrastructure is needed because Collin County is expected to double in size before 2030 and have more than 3.5 million residents by 2050.