AUSTIN - The Texas Transportation Commission has approved a recommendation from North Texas leaders to accelerate improvements to State Highway 121 and 30 other congestion-relieving projects throughout North Texas by pursuing a proposal from the North Texas Tollway Authority.

The approval came during a meeting by the commission earlier today.

The Transportation Commission authorized the Texas Department of Transportation staff to enter into a project agreement with NTTA once:

the Regional Transportation Council negotiates with the NTTA on major terms of the project agreement and submits those terms to TxDOT, quantification of public benefits anticipated to be derived from the NTTA’s proposal is agreed to by the RTC; and NTTA is able to close on all financial transactions necessary to meet its obligations concurrently with or no later than 45 days after the execution and delivery of the project agreement.

Major terms remaining to be negotiated between the RTC and NTTA include:

the timing and amount of the annual payments; enforcement provisions regarding compliance with the toll rate policy, project schedule, payment obligations and other commitments; and the length of the agreement.

Prior to approving the RTC recommendation, the commission concluded it helps the state meet its transportation goals to reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality and increase the value of transportation assets.

The action also supports commission strategies to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems and increase competition to drive down costs.

Temporary closure

In other TxDOT news related to the Metroplex, the agency announced it would temporarily close main lanes and frontage roads on U.S. Highway 175 in Seagoville from 6:30-7 a.m. Sunday, July 1.

The closure will occur at Highway 175 and Simonds Road to allow the pulling of several aerial fiber-optic utility lines across the highway, weather permitting.

Road signs have been placed along both sides of Highway 175 warning motorists of the closure. Traffic control will be provided by local police officers.