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Texas

TxDOT to Hold Public Hearing on Controversial US 380 Collin County Bypass Alignment

Residents who will be affected by the Texas Department of Transportation’s recommendation for the US 380 Bypass shared their disagreement with Collin County Commissioners on Monday that the new recommendation would destroy homes, livelihoods, forest with 100-year-old trees, and crowd out wildlife.

The final draft environmental impact study will be discussed at two public meetings in February, as announced by TxDOT earlier this month.

TxDOT is recommending its blue alternative, consisting of segments A, E, and C, a plan that would follow the freeway from Coit Road and existing US 380 around north McKinney, connecting to existing US 380 near FM 1827 east. from McKinney.

The proposed eight-lane freeway will replace 22 residents and 35 businesses.

Some said they couldn’t afford to buy a new house in Collin County if they were forced to move. Most speakers said segment D would be the best option and would affect fewer people.

Rick Eubank said Segment C would bisect his property, which has a pumpkin business and is among one of the largest contiguous forests left in Collin County.

“I am shocked that Segment C is currently the preferred route. I went to TxDOT meetings and everything looked like everything was going to the D segment. And suddenly everything changed,” Eubank said.

Eubank said TxDOT would not receive compensation because the road would be about 200 feet from his home and would not pass through it.

“I will have to live next to a bypass road because I can’t afford to move. Also, I bought this for peace and quiet, which is not going to happen,” he said.

Gary Gibson said 16 acres of his family would be destroyed by Segment C.

Gibson and his wife bought the property in 1985 and waited until 1999 to move in. The couple didn’t build their dream home on the land until recently when they learned that TxDOT had chosen the D segment for the project.

“We finished it in September 2021 and finished the shed in April 2022. This was our dream home. We sold our cabin in Colorado, used all of our retirement funds so we could retire there and enjoy nature and our animals,” Gibson said. “Segment C will go right through our property, go through our house and our barn. We were assured that none of this would happen.”

Gibson said his land is unique and runs along a stream fed by a spring that drains the reservoir.

“Our house is on a hill that slopes 50 feet down to a creek with a valley below. Our property is covered in 100 year old pecans and cedars. This is the home of gray foxes, possums, raccoons, this is a special ecosystem that stretches from the protected lake to the eastern fork of the Trinity River. Section C will destroy a unique ecosystem,” he said. “Segment C also goes through beautiful homesteads…While segment D goes through the floodplain and has very little environmental impact and very few homesteads.”

Amber Block told commissioners that her family’s 11-acre property is being used for therapeutic riding for at-risk children.

“I have a public riding arena that will be completely relocated,” Block said. “I will lose my riding arena, I will lose all of our hay production, plus I raise honey bees as an agrarian right exemption and they are located in my front pasture, so I will lose it all.”

Block said many stories like hers don’t count in TxDOT’s displacement figures because the highway doesn’t pass through the house.

“It’s frustrating because these stories of personal influence just don’t matter. But they are important to us,” she said. “If they could just bear it, our whole life could go on. That’s all we ask you to see our human side. And hopefully we’ll get some action from the people who represent us.”

The TxDOT Environmental Impact Study Project can be found online at www.keepitmovingdallas.com/US380EIS.

Public gatherings will be held in an open, come-and-go format where the public can come and go, with the first from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 16, in the Central Jury Hall of the Collin County Courthouse. , 2100 Bloomdale Road. The second meeting will be held from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Tuesday, February 21 at Rhea’s Mill Baptist Church, 5733 N. Custer Road.

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