The Texas Department of Transportation is working to acquire the property needed to start a segment of the long-discussed Loop 9 project in northern Ellis County.

The 10-mile roadway will connect Interstate Highway 35E in Red Oak to I-45 near Ferris.

According to the TxDOT website, the project will be built in three phases. The segment from I-35E to I-45 will first be constructed at the cost of about $450 million. The construction will help meet the needs of the land use changes, traffic growth, and the new inland Port of Dallas, which encompasses 7,500 acres and five municipalities. It will consist of six lanes with frontage roads. Part of the project will be constructed in Dallas County.

Loop 9 will provide Ellis County with greater connectivity, reduce traffic load on existing infrastructure, and provide economic opportunities, said two county leaders.

Todd Fuller, Red Oak City Manager, stated the Loop 9 project opens up the area along I-35E and provides better connectivity.

“The two biggest things is that it helps to eliminate some of the traffic on Ovilla Road. It gives another east-west option,” Fuller said. “The biggest thing from Red Oak’s perspective is to get another interchange at I-35.”

Fuller explained there are 300 acres of frontage along southbound I-35E that is not accessible right now. The project makes that area developable by providing access to the land.

“It made it difficult for us to go out and talk to the big boxes, the grocery stores, or the home improvement stores or any of these people on the retail side. This will be a huge factor for us to make that accessible,” Fuller said. “It is a big deal for us from a non-residential standpoint in terms of retail growth and business.”

Bill Jordan, Ferris City Manager, stated Loop 9 will not have a significant economic impact to the city, but it will be valuable due to the access it will provide residents and the congestion it will eliminate. The segment being built in Ferris is in the floodplain owned by the city.

“It is still good in the fact that it is going to create that east and west corridor. It will relieve some of that traffic off of Ovilla Road and put more cars on I-45,” Jordan said. “So more people will be able to choose that route, and it will dump out there right at Ferris. So there are some possibilities on that end.”

Jordan stated it is good to see the project moving forward.

People who want more information about the Loop 9 project can go to www.keepitmovingdallas.com. Staff with TxDOT can be reached at the Dallas District Office at 214-320-6100.