I often get asked if the County should be building roads or should that be the responsibility of the individual cities? The answer is “Yes!” the County should absolutely be involved with the construction of our local roads. With the County’s assistance, the cities within the County are incentivized to cooperate to build our growing infrastructure.
The cities within the County are required to pay 50% of the costs associated with the road construction. County participation and leadership in this process assures the funding is spent for major arterials/thoroughfares (generally 6 lane divided) carrying traffic through and between cities and towns. It permits concentrating funds on the highest priorities in the county. County participation and leadership also assures coordination between cities and towns for continuity of the overall road system and to prevent bottlenecks/discontinuities at city/town boundaries in a cost effective manner. In addition, all projects in the bond program are required to be started within the next five years to help mitigate congestion as rapidly as possible.
Dallas News said it well:
Think of the upcoming election as a referendum on more than 25 years of planning. That’s how long the county has been partnering with cities to build and expand roads throughout the county. Partnership and comprehensive planning have resulted in six-lane divided thoroughfares that are the envy of other counties.It didn’t use to be this way. Back in the early 1980s, roads were planned and built independently by cities and the four precincts that make up the county. Ever wonder why Texas back roads zig and zag all over the place? A lack of coordination resulted in roads that didn’t quite link up at city or precinct lines. That’s also why some four-lane concrete roads with medians abruptly become two-lane asphalt roads lacking even a shoulder.
That’s increasingly rare in Collin County, and it’s not by chance.Every few years, citizens work closely with engineers, city staff and elected leaders to go over the needs of their communities. This year, for example, they considered 180 requests, matching them with the master plan for the county to help set priorities.
They work with engineers to determine where the public’s money will do the most good, and they consider the work done in previous bond packages. That’s because large projects don’t get done in one step. An engineering study in this bond package, for example, may lay the foundation for actual construction in the next.
It’s a complex but well-oiled machine, a process that has been nearly perfected by dedicated citizens, staff and engineers.
I urge the voters of Collin County to vote “Yes” for the bond proposal and continued cooperation and growth in Collin County.