Some local traditions are good and some are not. One “not” so welcome tradition is the reality that Texas 360 in Arlington will inevitably have a traffic jam – or maybe a complete bumper-to-bumper stop – every morning or afternoon rush hour.
But perhaps this will be no more.
Traffic on State Highway 360 in Arlington should be a bit lighter – perhaps a great deal lighter -- thanks to the opening of the new President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension, also known as State Highway 161 just east of and roughly parallel to 360, also connecting to Interstate 20.
This $535 million project is an extension of the Bush Turnpike, connecting Interstates 20 and 30, between State Highway 360 and the combination of Spur 408 and Loop 12. The final stretch of State Highway 161 is approximately 6.5 miles in length.
“The opening of State Highway 161 will go a long way to relieving congestion on Highway 360 in Arlington during rush hour,” said Keith Melton, director of Public Works and Transportation in Arlington.
There is one not-so-slight difference. Texas 360 is a free road. State Highway 161 is a toll road. The 161 project has been in a state of planning or construction since the 1970s – evidence of just how long a major road project can take.
According to the North Texas Toll Authority (NTTA), more than 100,000 cars are expected to travel the new toll road each day. Toll rates will be the same as throughout its system – an average of 15.3 cents per mile.
You can purchase TollTags at Arlington City Hall, located at 101 W. Abram Street, or visit the NTTA website for a list of TollTag partner locations. The tags are good at any toll facility in Texas, including DFW Airport, and are also honored across the nation. Tagged tolls are also generally considerably cheaper than tolls that are directly billed to motorists.
(Portions of this article are from a City of Arlington release)