GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - Grayson County's recent growth is only expected to continue for decades in the future, so on Wednesday the county presented their thoroughfare plan to help accommodate that growth.
Grayson County engineer Clay Barnett said he expects the population to reach around 340,000 people come 2050. That's nearly a 180 percent growth rate from now until then.
"There's quite a bit of growth across Grayson County, the vast majority of what I've seen is up and down the 75 corridor," Barnett said. "A lot in Van Alstyne, and a lot in Pottsboro as well."
That means the roads have to be ready. The county drafted a thoroughfare plan with the help from several cities. It cost about $300,000 to make.
"If you don’t plan for those roads now, development occurs where the roadways should be and you don’t have adequate networks to get from one side of the county to the other," Barnett said. "So this plan will preserve those networks and make sure there's a seamless way to get across the county."
The Texas Department of Transportation representatives said the biggest projects including widening the FM 1417 and US 75 pathway, and reversing the on and off ramps to get it up to interstate standard. They're also revamping the intersection of US 75 and 82.
They also want to extend the Dallas North Tollway from Collin County into Grayson County through Gunter and all the way up to Denison.
"We're talking about a frontage road that'll be built in that location, like a farm-to-market road with two lanes, one in each direction," said Noel Paramanantham of TxDOT.
That project construction will begin in 2020.
"With the tollway and expansion from the south, we're gonna see that growth be more exponential," said Gunter resident and former mayor Don Anderson.
The Sherman- Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization is hosting a meeting on March 22 about the growth. Until then, they want feedback on the plan before it's finalized.