Denton County Commissioner Precinct 4 Dianne Edmondson, along with Denton County Judge Andy Eads and Denton Mayor Gerard Hudspeth, commemorated the completion of the U.S. 377/Fort Worth Drive expansion project.
The project widened U.S. 377/Fort Worth Drive from a two-lane rural road to a six-lane urban thoroughfare from Interstate 35E to just south of FM 1830. Construction began in January 2019 for a total project cost of $55.9 million. Denton County contributed $2.64 million for the project.
This phase is the first of several to be completed. Another four phases are either in the construction or planning stage. One major component of the first phase was the Union Pacific Railroad overpass, which included widening for additional tracks and building the bridge to current standards. This project also included funds to add sidewalks along the portion of U.S. 377/Fort Worth Drive west of I-35E.
“The completion of this main thoroughfare has significantly helped commuters and residents who frequent U.S. 377,” said Commissioner Edmondson. “I’m so proud of everyone who helped make this happen.”
She also commented on how well the county and Denton worked together on the completion of the project. Sema Construction was contractor for the project with design engineers from Lochner Engineering.
County funds from the 2008 bond program were earmarked to cover a large portion of the reconstruction of U.S. 377/Fort Worth Drive.
In Precinct 4, Denton County has leveraged approximately $43.5 million in taxpayer-funded bond dollars with a return of $2.95 billion from state and federal resources. These funds have provided for improved public safety, congestion relief and quality of life, officials said.
Judge Eads spoke of the work on I-35E as a major north-south thoroughfare. He added how the east-west access of U.S. 377 will bring convenience for residents as well as for continued economic development.
“I take this route every day,” he said. “I think of several legacy businesses on U.S. 377, especially Mr. Frosty’s, a place my Dad went years ago.”
Transportation is important to the Denton County Commissioners Court, Judge Eads said. “Mobility continues to be a priority in Denton County. You have to have good and safe transportation.”
Several dignitaries gathered for the event in the 1100 block of Fort Worth Drive, including Mayor Hudspeth, Judge Eads, Precinct 3 Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell and Tina Massey, Denton area engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation.
“It is important to have these partnerships,” said Mayor Hudspeth, referring to the cooperation between cities, the county and TxDOT.