Over the last several years, the Texas Department of Transportation has been conducting feasibility studies as part of its efforts to expand and reroute parts of US 380 through Collin County, spanning from the Denton County line to the Hunt County line. This significant undertaking affects multiple properties, raising concerns about eminent domain and condemnation matters. As a Texas landowner, you enjoy certain legal rights and protections. However, there are circumstances in which a government agency (in this case, the Department of Transportation) may exercise its power of eminent domain to seize privately-owned land for projects benefiting the public in exchange for compensation. When an entity wields its eminent domain authority, the legal process is called condemnation. This post will explore how the proposed US 380 project may impact current landowners and what steps they can take to prepare.
Factors Prompting the US 380 Collin County Feasibility Study
Many roadway expansion projects stem from infrastructure concerns. For instance, when existing roads are too crowded or create too much congestion, the Department of Transportation may step in to find solutions to these issues. Adding lanes to existing highways or constructing alternative routes can ease traffic and increase mobility in the area. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the US 380 bypass project stems from two main concerns: (1) Collin County’s growing population and (2) A rapidly decreasing amount of land available for highway expansion projects.
Collin County’s Anticipated Population Growth
The feasibility study states that “[t]he population of Collin County is projected to grow from just under 800,000 people to over 3.8 million people in 2050, according to the Texas Demographic Center.” This explosive growth necessitates more transportation infrastructure to facilitate movement throughout the county, which has prompted the Texas Department of Transportation to explore options for adding alternative routes to ease current and projected traffic congestion along US 380.
A Decrease in Land Availability
The Texas Department of Transportation also recognizes that available land is becoming increasingly scarce. The study team found that “the options to build a new roadway or expand the existing US 380 become more limited and potential impacts to residential and commercial developments increase” as the county’s population grows. As more land is being preserved for planned residential and commercial development, the land availability for transportation projects is becoming more complex and rare.
Breaking Down the Five Proposed Construction Projects
So far, the Texas Department of Transportation has identified five independent project segments along US 380 where construction and expansion efforts will occur. This post will explore the impacts of two of these project segments, starting with the westernmost segment and moving east.
Teal Parkway/Championship Drive to Lakewood Drive in Prosper/Frisco
This proposed project will impact approximately 5.9 miles of US 380, spanning from Teel Parkway/Championship Drive in Denton County to just west of Lakewood Drive in Collin County. Although the specifics of this project are still being developed, expanding the current highway to include more lanes that ease congestion is likely. In upcoming studies, meetings, and evaluations, the Texas Department of Transportation will determine the number of lanes to be added, identify ramp locations and interchange configurations, determine the amount of land necessary to complete the project, and make additional considerations. Private landowners in this area should discuss their concerns with a trusted condemnation attorney to understand the potential impact of this project.
Coit Road to FM 1827 in the McKinney Area
This section of the proposed project spans from Coit Road eastward to FM 1827, encompassing McKinney and the surrounding area. According to the proposed schematics, the Texas Department of Transportation would implement alternate routes to ease congestion along this stretch of US 380. The proposal appears to include expanding the current lanes of US 380 and adding an alternate route to the north of McKinney to improve traffic at the intersections of US 380 and US 75. According to the proposal, the Texas Department of Transportation “is working with local and regional partners to find ways to accommodate the growth and provide additional mobility options to keep up with travel demand.” Those who own private property in this area should consider reaching out to a condemnation lawyer to learn more about their options.
Helping You Understand Your Legal Options
Eminent domain and condemnation matters can be complex, particularly for Texas landowners who are unfamiliar with their legal rights and options. In light of these upcoming construction projects, you should reach out to a seasoned condemnation attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
Contact Sewell Sewell Beard LLC at (972) 777-5390 to discuss your concerns with a trusted and experienced Prosper, Texas condemnation attorney.